By Uduma  Kalu

*Say life has become too difficult
*Seek N10bn bail-out from Jonathan
*Weapons flood South East
*Why Igbo traders were killed—Nyako,  Adamawa gov

Members of the Boko Haram that killed 14 Igbo and Christian  traders in Mubi, Adamawa state were only two. They came on a bike, shot those standing at the gate of the Adazi town hall meeting where the people were planning about the transportation of the corpse of one of them killed the previous day.

Late Sunday-Okoye

The killers then moved into the hall and opened fire on them.  Some of the Adazi men in the hall, hearing the gunshot ran away through the window. But not all could escape and they were mainly the victims that died. The two killers escaped after making sure that a large number of the Adazi people were dead. Fourteen of them were killed that day but the Adamawa governor said the number was 13.

The first victim of the dreaded sect was Simeon Asor. He was killed in a  relaxation spot. So his townfolks had gathered on his behalf to plan on how to retrieve his corpse and take him home for burial. But many of them were killed during the meeting. The victims were Sunday Okoye, Bede Aniagbado, Uchenna Okpala, Onwukike Amechi, John Obiakonwa, Ugochukwu Ezenwekwe and Patrick Aghachi who was an only son. His only sister is married but their parents are dead.

Aghachi was also married and had children. Obinna Okoye was a secondary school student. Ukamaka Aforka, a mother and wife of Osita Aforka was killed with her husband in the hall. The other was Job Mgbemena.

This revelation came from one of the survivors of the killing, Mike who narrowly escaped the carnage. Obi who is now in his home town of Adazi, Awka, Anambra State, like many others who ran away from north also narrated how some of his town people in North East of the country left the zone for their homelands.

Late John-Obiakonwa

Mike told Saturday  Vanguard that there was a story that the church members were killed by armed robbers. He however denied it saying it was members of Boko Haram that committed the act. At the hall, the sect members, he said, came witha list of some of the successful business people from Adazi. They read the names out asking to see them. But the men called were not there. One of them was Francis  Nwabor.

Some of the returnees, he went on, ran  back home to Adazi in their night gowns. Some in their wrappers, leaving their homes and houses they laboured to build in the north back to where they consider their native home, Igboland. And even though it is safe in this native land, the returnees lack funds to cater for themselves. They are however grateful to God for letting them return in peace. However, they are  asking that President Goodluck Jonathan to bail the returnees across Igboland with at least N10bn only.

In Adazi, the returnees came mainly from Mubi in Adamawa, Potiskum, Damaturu and other towns in Yobe hit by Boko Haram. Some of them had come home for Christmas but are now stranded. They cannot go back to their work places due to the killing activities of the sect. In fact, some of the successful ones were marked for killing by the sect. One of them

Late Osita Aforka

had returned home for Christmas, unknown to the Boko Haram members and so escaped assassination.

Today in  Igboland, kinsmen of the returnees call them Ndi gbara oso Boko Haram (Boko Haram Escapees). But things are so difficult for them that  some of them have resorted to begging. These  were men who were successful in their various occupations in their respective  northern towns. Some of them who had white collar jobs are asking their respective state governors for employment.

Also, due to the increasing insecurity in the land, there is reported influx of sophisticated weapons into Igboland in the name of community policing. In the towns and villages, some young men were seen carrying these weapons about openly.

And even though the governors of the South East states will meet to discuss about their plight, some of the returness said it would be difficult for the states to bail them out. They therefore asked the federal government to bail them with at least N10 billion.

Late Ukamaka Aforka

In the town of Adazi  in Awka, capital of Anambra state, there is anger among the people, having lost 14 of its illustrious sons in Mubi alone.

Three southerners were killed in Mubi between Thursday night and Friday  of  January 6 and 7 when gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram killed three southerners. So on Friday, kinsmen of  the  Adazi man  killed the previous day gathered  to discuss modalities for conveying the deceased home for burial.

The same gunmen swooped on them and started shooting sporadically killing 12 people on the spot and wounding over 30 others, thus bringing the number of those killed in Mubi alone to 15. Those wounded were said to be  receiving  treatment in various hospitals in the  state.

Late Ugochukwu Ezenweke

An  Information Officer in Mubi said there was tension in the town as Igbo traders closed their shops in solidarity with their slain colleagues. Attempts by the Igbo to retaliate the killings of their kits and kins was hampered by the heavy security presence in the town.

Giving a graphic detail of how the incident happened to Saturday Vanguard,  Mike , one of the returnees and survivors of the Mubi attack, said the Adazi men had gathered on that Friday January  7 to discuss how to return the body of the victim home in their town hall. Picture of the deceased was placed beside the table and members were contributing money.

Mike had received a call to go and collect some money somewhere. He left the hall. At the gate, he cracked jokes with those there and left. When he returned, those at the gate were dead.

One of those that escaped from the hall told Obi  that the killers were two and they

Late Obinna Okoye

came on a bike. Immediately they arrived at the town hall gate, they gunned down those standing there. And proceeded to the hall where they  shot sporadically at the members. Some of the Adazi men who could clambered through the window and ran away. Some who could not were shot dead.

The total number of those killed, Obi went on, was 14 from the town alone. The bodies are yet to be brought home. But Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State last weekend stated that the  number of the Igbo businessmen gunned down by the unidentified killers was 13. Reason for the killing, he said, was a result of business conflict, thereby contradicting media reports that they were killed by the deadly Islamic sect, Boko Haram.

The governor said government was still awaiting detailed report from security operatives before releasing the corpses of the 13 Igbo to their families for burial, adding that he stood on his ground as regards N25, 000,000 reward promised any person or group with credible information that would lead to the arrest of the criminals behind the killings.

Nyako is expected to accompany the corpses to Adazi. To this end, it is said that details of the visit are secret for security

Late Onwukike Amechi

reasons.

A female teacher, Ifeoma, from Adazi told Saturday Vanguard that things are now difficult for her family. She used to be a teacher in the north. She returned because of the incessant killings up there. She complained that even in the north, teachers were not paid. The authorities even said they will not employ non indigenes.

She was sacked earlier by the state government to enable the indigenes to become employed but the state asked them to return as the locals did not have the capacity to teach without foreign input. Even when she returned to the classroom, Ifeoma said they were paid below minimum wage.

The teacher does not therefore want to go back to the north. She is at home in the east with her children and husband. Jobless, she wants Governor Obi to give her a job. But Governor Obi has members of  his Agulu to cope with. The community also lost some of its men to Boko Haram killers. And some of them are back home, saddled with the same economic plight as those in Adazi.

Late Patrick Aghachi

However, Francis Nwabor is not a teacher. He is a successful trader in the north. He had returned to Adazi for Christmas. But as Boko Haram had marked some big time Igbo businessmen like himself for assassination, the business man is afraid of returning to to the north now. He was told that members of Boko Haram   went from house to house to kill the business men. Nwabor was home when the killers came.

He was later told of the deadly visits. When the killers visited his home, they did not see him. They later called and discovered he was in his hometown. The man would been dead by now but his businesses are under lock and key. He is with his wife and children are safe now but they do not have money to cater for themselves as he cannot access his money. Others like Nwabor have no access to his own money. His financial documents are in the North.

The killings in the north however bring  some home truth to the South East people: they must develop the east to save their lives and properties. There is also the need to secure the land, hence the presence of community policing with young men carrying heavy weapons in the name of security.

Subscribe for latest Videos

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.