Members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) group reportedly visited a reign of terror on the Muslim Community in Orlu, the second largest city in Imo State, Southeast Nigeria, leaving one callously murdered and scores with varying degrees of injury.
Ms Aisha Obi made this heartrending revelation in an interview with Muslim News, noting that members of the proscribed group allegedly hid under the guise of #EndSARS protesters to launch devastating attacks on defenceless Muslims.
According to her, “They stormed the community and went straight to the mosque. The next thing was that they started shooting gun(sic). The worshippers then began to run helter-skelter. The attackers shot indiscriminately at worshippers. They also used machetes, which resulted in many people sustaining injuries.
“A particular driver wanted to run away from the scene, but was killed instantly. Three bullets were found to have hit him. His conductor was also shot, but was lucky not to have given up the ghost. He however sustained injuries. So, only the driver died from the dastardly attack,” she added.
The eloquent Ndigbo Muslimah said, “Some persons have been saying our narrative is false. I went there to make a video so that people can see we are actually telling the truth.
“Similarly, I went to the hospital to record those who were severely injured. They were between 5 and 7 persons. Out of fear, some of the victims have been evacuated from the hospital by their kinsmen. I think about three more people are still there. There was also a man from Abakaliki coming back from work; he was shot. He’s also receiving treatment at the hospital.“
The Muslimah, who is also an indigene, said that the attackers are suspected to be members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, an outlawed terrorist group, given their strategy and chants, adding that their words were that they do not want Muslims in Igboland.
She also observed that not all Igbos believes in the agitation for the Biafra Republic.
“What the assailants were chanting was that they do not want Muslims in Igboland. They said ‘it’s Biafra’ they want. That’s why all of us are suspecting Biafra advocates. These attackers also had emblems of #EndSARS pasted on their cars. When they got to the mosque, they were shouting ‘EndSARS’, ‘we don’t want Muslims in Biafra land.’
Igbo Muslimah, Aishat Obi visited the burnt #OrluMosque in Imo, where #IPOB killed 1, injured 4 Muslims during the #EndSARS protests. We call for calm, and seek @PoliceNG @HQNigerianArmy to protect our brethren in the South-South/East. Watch full video >> https://t.co/nbw4aA8yx5 pic.twitter.com/olmTnjCGNQ
— Muslim News Nigeria (@muslimnews_NG) October 28, 2020
“They also asked to see any Muslim. A Muslim man heard this and ran for his dear life. He was sighted by the mob and shot. The Orlu mosque where he was attacked was not even built by the Hausas, but an Igbo man. Honestly, not all the Igbos want Biafra. Some of us do not support it.”
Advising the government, she sued for adequate security for the minority constituencies in various regions, decrying the fate suffered by the Hausa community in the South-East and South-South regions.
She also told Muslim News that efforts have been made by the Chief Imam to put the situation under control and restore normalcy but were frustrated by unforeseen circumstances.
Her words: “What I expect the government to do is that wherever the Muslims are in the minority, they should be given adequate security. This is also applicable to the North where Christians are always in the minority, government should draft security there to prevent them from possible reprisals. All lives matter. What I’m not happy about is that after almost three days of the murder (on Saturday), the driver’s lifeless body still remains in his truck. It has not been evacuated.
“The Chief Imam has contacted relevant authorities and security agencies. He reached out to the military. They sent some of their men to the scene. But the major problem is that these attackers have fetish powers that prevent bullets from penetrating their bodies. I don’t know how they achieved this.”
Hajia Obi also carpeted the media for their criminal silence on what appears like a well orchestrated terrorist act, emphasising that all lives matter.
She asserted that Muslims have suffered media bias in the Southeast in particular from time immemorial, saying citizen journalism is also being resisted by the people.
“The media is being biased, wicked and complicit in this matter. Any bad incident that happens to Muslims, they remain silent on it. It’s not good. A lot has been happening in the East that borders on injustice against Muslims, they keep quiet. Even if you take up the role of citizen reporter, you’ll be heavily resisted. Muslims are really suffering intimidation here in the Southeast. But anything that happens in the South West or Northern Nigeria, media organisations sensationalise and give it adequate coverage. I think it’s not fair. We are all human beings.
“As I’m talking to you now, the Hausa community is in hiding and living in fear. There is, in fact, no road if they want to travel to their place. The roads have been blocked. My life too is under threat,” she said.
She also recounted her ordeal when some arsonists attempted to raze another mosque in Owerri after they succeeded in burning Orlu mosque, noting she sustained an injury in her leg while scampering for safety.
She called on the government to swiftly come to the aid of the Hausa communities in Imo State, saying their lives are in danger, while cautioning the assailants that their kinsmen also live among the Hausas.
“The reality is that the Hausa communities are not only populated by the Hausas. We have Igbos in their midst. After razing down Orlu mosques, they also attempted to burn down another in Owerri, but the Police overpowered them. I was in the mosque when the attackers came, but there was a police barrack along that area, so they foiled the attack.
“While trying to escape, I sustained an injury in my leg. They were saying that all Muslims be killed that they do not want to see them. The government should come to the aid of Muslims in the Southeast, especially the Hausa community because there is no way for them to go out of Imo State now. Their lives are in danger.”
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