BY TONY EDIKE
ENUGU—The current influx of illegal immigrants into the Enugu State capital is causing panic among the residents, who have called on security agencies to monitor the development in order to avert any insurgency in the area.
The two major settlements for northerners in the state capital, known as the New Artisan Market located along Enugu-Port-Harcourt Expressway off Independence layout and the Garriki cattle market in Awkunanaw, have been besieged lately by hundreds of young men, identified as citizens of Niger, Sudan and Chad.
Among them were some Northerners displaced from their homes in Borno, Yobe, Taraba and Adamawa states by Boko Haram.
Sources at the New Artisan market told Vanguard that the market, popularly known for the sale of livestock as cow and goats brought down to the East from the north, had been turned to a settlement for the illegal immigrants, many of whom had no sources of livelihood.
According to a source, who craved anonymity, the young men, most of who could neither speak nor understand English language, have continued to arrive the market from the northern states since Boko Haram intensified its violence in some northern states early this year.
Said the source, who claims to be a cattle dealer: “What we are seeing here on daily basis calls for serious concern because if any crisis erupts here those of us from the north who had been living in Enugu and doing our legitimate businesses will be liable. Since January this year several trailers conveying livestock and crops from the north had been bringing several young men especially from the North Eastern states.
“Most of the young men are from Niger and Chad and they don’t speak English or Hausa and their mission here is not clear but we have been habouring them because they are Muslims and they join us to worship in the mosque here. But that notwithstanding we are worried because if anything funny happens here our families will be affected.”