Ihuoma Chiedozie and Adeniyi Olugbemi
Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex socio-political body of the Igbos, has asked the Federal Government to investigate a recent attack on the Igbo in Taraba State.
There were reports that shops belonging to Igbo traders in the Dan-Anicha area of Taraba State were destroyed and looted, during an attack on Igbo by suspected Fulani people on June 3, 2018.
The Igbo Union in Taraba State has already petitioned the Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishiaku, and the national leadership of Ohanaeze, over the development.
Ohanaeze, in a statement on Sunday, asked the Federal Government to investigate the attacks, and bring the perpetrators to book.
In the statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Emeka Atama, the association equally demanded compensation for the traders whose shops were destroyed and looted during the incident.
Condemning the attack, Ohanaeze pointed out that the Igbo residents of Taraba were attacked in the course of a clash between the Fulani and the Tiv.
The statement partly read, “Ohanaeze Ndigbo has called for a stop to the recurring practice of Ndigbo being made to bear the brunt of any conflict between other ethnic groups in the northern parts of the country.
“Reacting to the recent looting and burning of the property of Ndigbo in Dan-Anicha, Taraba State, the apex Igbo organisation lamented that from the reports of the victims of the attack, there was nothing Ndigbo in Taraba state had said or done to warrant the mayhem unleashed on them by their northern brothers on that day — a recurrence of similar attacks on Ndigbo living in the north in the past.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo observed that it was when the Fulani went to attack a Tiv settlement but found out that their firepower could not match that of the Tiv, that they (Fulani) decided to attack the Igbo, who probably had complied with the Inspector-General of Police’s order to surrender their weapons.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo is calling on the Federal Government to carry out a thorough investigation into the matter and bring the perpetrators to book and make restitution to those who lost their property in that dastardly act.”
Ohanaeze, in the statement, further expressed concern that reports of the incident revealed that, for more than 12 uninterrupted hours, “operatives from different security outfits were standing by and watching as Igbo traders and their families were running helter-skelter for their dear lives, while their attackers were carting away their wares and property and burning the rest.”
“Ohanaeze wonders if it was under this kind of intimidation, harassment and daylight robbery that the Inspector-General of Police was asking people to surrender their guns and become sitting targets for their tormentors,” the group noted.
Ohanaeze added, “A situation where law enforcement agents stand aside and watch as people from another ethnic group are being harassed or killed means only one thing, defend yourselves. Such a situation made nonsense of the order by the IGP and could engender a civil war.”
Meanwhile, the Civil Society Organisations in Zamfara State, Northern Youths Assembly and Budget Working Group, have reacted to the recent attack on the convoy of the state Deputy Governor, Mallam Ibrahim Wakkala, by angry youths at IDP Mada in the Gusau Local Government Area.
They said, “It is a sign of democratic revolution to be expected in the 2019 general elections if the government failed to end the current banditry.”
Addressing a joint press conference, the chairmen of the two civil society groups, Munnir Haidara Kaura and Mallam Anas Anka stated that, the administration of Governor Abdul-Aziz Yari was taking the killing of the innocent people lightly.
This, they argued had shown that the government had failed to adopt measures that would define the true direction of how this tragedy would end.
According to them, the attack on the deputy governor’s convoy was just an eye opener of many things that awaits the governor and his team during campaigns. They said that the citizens were tired of the game of deceit being played by the state government while innocent lives were being wasted on daily basis.
The groups, however, condemned the attack but expressed concern over government idea of pushing the blame to the Federal Government whenever an attack was launched on communities in the state, rather than taking steps to stop such attacks.
The CSO leaders, however, stressed the need for Yari to be kind and humane enough to stay in the state and address the security needs of the people than gallivanting around.
They warned politicians in the state to be ready for political humiliation and embarrassment as the people were ready to do away with heartless politicians who were sacrificing the blood of innocent people for the attainment of their political objectives.
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