By George Onah
Port-Harcourt â€” Hausa traders in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, have complained about series of â€œwicked and damaging text messagesâ€ making the rounds to the effect that Hausa traders planned to poison suya, carrots and green peas to kill Christians.
Consequently, funseekers, who usually visit drinking joints and suya spots in the city, have kept their distance from the barbecue sellers to play safe.
Source of rumour
Vanguard learnt that authors of the text messages were some South-South indigenes that fled from the fighting in Jos, Plateau State, and are taking refuge in their states, and are planning a total boycott of such edibles.
However, when Vanguard visited Victoria Street, a popular suya spot in downtown Port-Harcourt, there was business as usual, as some of the folks spoken to said they were not bothered by the text messages and that â€œsome-thing must kill a man anywayâ€.
But Mallam Maikudi said the text messages were â€œevil and potential agents of disunityâ€, explaining that it would be counter produc-tive for any Hausa trader to imagine such a thing.Â He added that â€œwe do not stand to gain anything by such act.â€
Wariboko Jones, a civil servant, said he received the text message but was â€œapproaching the matter with caution while not losing sight of the fact that anything can happen in Nigeria these days.â€
Although northern traders who sell yam, onions as well as white and red beans at the Mile 1 Market have not complained of dearth of patronage, two northernÂ traders of carrots in wheelbarrows said they had received some uncomplimentary remarks from residents in Diobu area of the city.