Northerners in Anambra State have started the leaving the state capital, Awka, and the commercial city of Onitsha in the aftermath of Monday’s suicide bomb attack at a motor park in Kano for fear of reprisals.
They closed their businesses and headed to the Army Artillery Regiment and Central Police Station, both in Onitsha for protection even as the army and the police tried to douse tension.
One of the Hausa leaders said they were packing because the Igbo could retaliate what happened in Kano.
The presence of members of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) on major roads in Awka and Onitsha further heightened tension, even though the MASSOB leader Ralph Uwazuruike said there would be no reprisal attacks.
“We are not known for bloodletting and Ndigbo cannot be cowed into shedding blood but we want an end to this senseless bloodletting of Igbos in the North in whatever name called,” he said.
The Chairmen of Ndigbo Unity Forum and Anambra Traders’ Forum, Augustine Cukwudum and Dede Uzor Uzor condemned the attack in Kano, describing it as barbaric and a threat to the country’s unity even as they lauded the prompt intervention of the Commander, 302 Army cantonment, Onitsha , Col. T Gagariga, Navy Commander A. Ahmed and the Onitsha Area Commander, Mr. Benjamin Wordu who calmed frayed nerves.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Emeka Chukwuemeka assured Northerners of their safety, saying that adequate security had been put in place, although anyone who insisted on going would not be prevented.
Further condemnation of the attacks, which has claimed a total of 75 people so far, also came from the Anambra State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the All Nigeria Peoples’ Party (ANPP) at both the national and state levels.
The ACN chairman, Chief Amaechi Obidike said government should probe the bombings.
He said: “All these misfortunes in Nigeria today are as a result of PDP’s insensitivity to the plight of their people. If Nigerians fail to rise up against the misrule of this torn umbrella by the year 2020, there may not be anything called Nigeria again.”
The ANPP state chairman, Chief Pat Orjiakor, recommended that security being beefed up in Kano and blamed the occurrence of the bomb blast because of the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party.
Orjiakor said:”Who will replace those buses and other vehicles lost in the bombing which belonged to Ndigbo; more than half of the people who lost their lives are all Igbo.
“What I am saying is that PDP government, both in the state and federal levels have lost control of things in this country and they have no moral rectitude to stay in power.
“We have lost this number of people because of lack of their leadership qualities. Everything is falling apart in Nigeria Because of (PDP) and yet, they want to stay in power.
“We are working seriously in making sure that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is well-positioned and there is no amount of underground business by PDP that can stop the moving train.”
The ANPP at the national level urged the Federal Government to step up its intelligence gathering to effectively check the rate of insecurity in the country.
In a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Emma Eneukwu, in Abuja yesterday, the party said: “The ANPP received the news of the Monday bombing of a motorpark in Sabon Gari, Kano, by unidentified terrorists which killed scores of innocent Nigerians, with deep shock and sadness.
“Once again, the wicked act of a few elements of terror has further pushed our great country to a possible anarchy.”
The party condemned the barbaric act, its perpetrators, sponsors, and commiserated with friends and families of the death in the dastard act and wished the injured quick recovery.
It also said that considering the fact that the principal task of any government is to secure the lives and property of its citizens, it was high time the Nigerian government faced the duty it owed every Nigerian squarely.
The party called on the nation’s security agencies to leave no stone unturned in unravelling “this heinous crime against humanity”.
“It is crucial that every necessary measure be taken to defuse the prevalent atmosphere of hopelessness in the nation as precipitated by terror attack in Kano.
“It is now manifest that the forces of evil, nibbling at the fabrics of our corporate existence as a country, will go to any length, no matter how diabolical, to achieve their satanic objectives.”
ANPP enjoined Nigerians to resist the urge to despair “in such a time like this because that is exactly what these elements want to achieve”, even as it expressed optimism that Nigeria would soon surmount its present troubles.