The violent Wednesday’s pro-Biafra protests in Onitsha, Anambra state, caused many members of the Hausa community to seek safety and stop their business activities.
A correspondent of ThePunch visited the affected areas on Saturday, December 5. It has been observed that many shoe menders, barbecue sellers, green grocers and other allied workers of northern origin prefered to keep their businesses shut.
The decision to keep shops closed down is explained by the fear of renewed attacks. Many people were scampering for safety at the barracks of the Nigerian army and nearby police stations.
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“After the crisis, most of them only came out in the night to do brisk businesses and disappear again,” a local resident told the reporter.
It was not possible to learn more from people being affected by the pro-Biafra mayhem. Most of the endangered people were camping at the Military Cantonment Central Mosque. However, none of them were willing to talk on the matter with the stranger.
However, the police reassured of being in control of the situation.
DSP Ali Okechechukwu, the state police public relations officer, called on the people of Anambra to go on with their businesses without any fear of molestation.
“The situation is calm. Nobody should be afraid or hide. The police have brought back normalcy to Onitsha after the storm and we are ever prepared to sustain the peace and order in Onitsha,” he said.
Pro-Biafra protests went really violent on Wednesday, December 2. At least nine people were reportedly dead in clashes, including two police sergeants. The Onitsha central mosque, a nomadic school and many other objects belonging to the Hausa community were either damaged or destroyed.
The northern governors condemned the violence in strong words. Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state, who spoke on their behalf, said firm measures would be taken to prevent the violence from spreading, especially to the Boko Haram-torn northeast.