The Oasis Reporters
September 13, 2017
These are no easy times for the Hausa speaking community resident in the south eastern region of Nigeria, as well as some parts of the south south region owing to the much detested and currently undergoing Operation Python Dance being undertaken by the Nigerian Army.
The Hausa community are perceived to be interwoven with the Nigerian military as a preponderance of soldiers are of Northern Nigerian origin.
That is the perception, and it is rather unfortunate.
In reality, Hausa is in practical terms, the native language of the Nigerian Army and it’s symbol is represented by Arabic characters, which only Muslims can read. Even the top echelon of the army are often seen bearing Northern Islamic names.
Therefore their being in the largely Christian South, carrying out tension soaked and offensive military actions seem to be like an outside army of occupation.
Some members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Tuesday allegedly clashed with the Hausa community in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State . The incident left many injured from both sides and the incident was said to have started when the suspected members of IPOB gathered at Timber Junction awaiting other members to join in a procession to Aba, Abia State. “Thereafter, soldiers rounded up the IPOB members using force to disperse the gathering and leaving many IPOB members injured.
“A deadly confrontation immediately ensued between IPOB members and the soldiers and ultimately led to some members venting their anger on the Hausa community in the area,” an unidentified source said.
Another eyewitness, Ibiere Tamuno, said that several properties were destroyed during the clash. According to her, the clash began around 1 p.m. and lasted few hours before the intervention of the army, police and other security agencies, in a report received by the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.
According to the report, Oyigbo section of the Aba-Port Harcourt expressway was shut down with human and vehicular movement restricted. Col. Aminu Illiyasu, the Spokesman for 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, confirmed the clash and added that troops were deployed to restore law and order in the area. “We learnt that some IPOB members disturbed the peace by attacking the Hausa community and threatening to burn down a mosque in Oyigbo Local Government Area in Rivers. “We are yet to confirm if anyone was injured or killed during the clash but be assured that normalcy is currently being restored to the area.
“I am still awaiting the full report of event and as such details are still sketchy at the moment,” he said.
Iliyasu said deployment of troops to the area was unconnected to Operation Python Dance, currently on-going in five states of the Southeast zone. The military operation, code named Python Dance II in force to checkmate IPOB members who are agitating for a breakaway Biafran homeland out of Nigeria.
Likewise the Police Command in Enugu State has commenced investigation into an alleged heavy explosion that rocked a former New Artisan Market on the outskirts of Enugu.
The command’s Spokesman, SP Ebere Amaraizu, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Enugu.
Amaraizu said the explosion took place at the former New Artisan Market, along Enugu-Port Harcourt Road on Monday at about 8 p.m.
He said the command had dispatched it’s crack team of investigators, mainly from its Explosive Ordinance Department (EOD), to the scene of the incident.
The spokesman said the EOD team was currently combing the entire area and its environs in order to ensure that it was safe and secure for all.
Amaraizu, however, said that no life was lost in the incident.
“The command through its operatives has commenced full scale investigation into the alleged incident of explosion at the scrap site of the former New Artisan Market in Enugu.
“The cause of the explosion is yet to be ascertained and no life was lost.
“However, the incident is alleged to have caused minor destruction in a nearby food shop, including two vehicles parked near the said shop,’’ he said.
He advised residents of the state and travelers along the road not to panic as “the command is on ground and on top of the situation to unravel the causes of the incident’’.
“The command is advising the good people of the state, particularly residents of that axis not to entertain fear or panic, but to go about their normal lawful businesses.
“All hands are on deck, the command is working in partnership with relevant sister security agencies and stakeholders to ensure a safe and secure Enugu and its environs,’’he said.
Senators of the South East region have issued a statement signed by Enyinaya Abiribe calling on the military not to engage in hostile actions against peaceful demonstrators.