BY JIMITOTA ONOYUME
PORT HARCOURT – The army has insisted that its men did not provoke Tuesday crisis in Oyigbo Local Government Area.
Spokesman of 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Colonel Aminu Ilyasu said it was unfortunate that some media houses did not verify their reports before going to press.
Colonel Ilyasu said it was extremely disturbing that some media houses also reported that a mosque in the area was razed down during the incident, stressing that the mosque was intact. He appealed to the media to double check their information before rushing to press, noting that misleading reports could further aggravate ugly situation like that of Tuesday.
Community sources told the Vanguard that the mosque was allegedly ransacked by the rampaging IPOB members. Two patrol vehicles belonging to the Police were also allegedly burnt down during the crisis.
Meantime, Publicity secretary, Arewa consultative Forum, in the state, Alhaji Babaji Yahu Tanko , said three persons allegedly died in the sad incident, adding that several lock up shops belonging to Hausa traders were razed down.
Chairman of the local government area, Mr Sunday Chukwudi said peace had returned to the area, adding that law enforcement agents had moved in to guarantee safety of lives and properties.
At press time economic activities had resumed in the area with the market open for business. Some traders told the Vanguard under conditions of anonymity that some Hausa youths were whisked away in buses by the IPOB members that Tuesday. “We have not heard anything about them. We don’t know if they were later released. But I saw when they bundled some of the wheel barrow boys into waiting vehicles”, a trader said.
There was heavy presence of security men in the area. At some points pedestrians were seen raising their hands in surrendering positions as they walked passed the security men.