There was still tension this afternoon in Onitsha, the commercial city of Anambra State, and Asaba the capital of Delta State, following a clashes and reprisal attacks against northerners in Onitsha in which two Hausas may have been killed.
Bloody clashes sparked by a police killing of bus driver in Onitsha was connected to the incessant killing of the Igbos in the Northern part of the country by the Boko Haram sect.
Commercial and vehicular activities were disrupted in ever-busy Onitsha during the clashes as people scampered for their lives.
In Asaba, the ‘B’ Divisional Police Station of the Delta State Police Command became a refugee camp as scores of Nigerians of Northern origin fled into it for protection.
When this reporter visited the Command, there were over 200 of the returnees from Onitsha at the police station, and at least six of them were spotting machete injuries. They were treated at the police clinic.
There was panic in the popular Abraka area, a district that most northerners in Asaba reside in and carry out economic activities, as the refugees were being brought in batches.
Although there was no form of attack in the area, sources said hoodlums had cashed in on the confusion to unleash mayhem on some northerners in Asaba. One of the injured claimed he was attacked by hoodlums who dispossessed him of his motorcycle, cell phone and ATM card.
There was a huge sigh of relief from the general anxiety when the police started patrolling the area through to the River Niger head bridge to prevent the crisis from spreading into Asaba as well as douse the mounting tension around Abraka area.
The Divisional Police Officer in-charge of ‘B’ Division, Usman Yusuf assured that the situation was already being controlled. He said the police would do everything possible to protect lives and property in the area and ensure that nobody was attacked irrespective of place of region.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Charles Muka, described Asaba as “peaceful,” stressimg there was no crisis between the Hausa and Ibo communities in Asaba. “It was Onitsha we heard that there is misunderstanding between the Hausa and Ibo communities not in Asaba and as I talk to you now our men have taken position in all Hausa settlements in Asaba and its environs so there is no cause for alarm,” he said.
Muka debunked rumours of any killing in Asaba as according to him. “No single person lost his or her life in Asaba regarding that issue,” he stated.
Meanwhile, faced with unprecedented crimes in Warri, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Mamman Tsafe, has relocated to Warri area of the state. Armed robbery and kidnapping have become almost a daily affair in Warri and its environs.