Tension in Kaduna as fear of reprisal grips Igbos

Kaduna State

Hundreds of Igbo traders in Kaduna metropolis momentarily closed shops Friday following rumour of a looming reprisal by youths after the Jumat service.

The rumoured attack was said to be a response to reported killings of Hausa/Fulanis in Abia State by alleged Biafran agitators.

But the tension fizzled out when there was no such attack anywhere in the state.

Shops owned by Igbo traders  at the Sheikh Abubakar Gumi Central Market and the neighbouring markets were hurriedly locked before the Juma’at Prayer.

While many didn’t open for business throughout the day again, others who did in the afternoon could not display their goods.

An Igbo trader at Chechenia Market. Mr. Mark Ibe, said they decided to lock their shops on the strength of rumour on the social media that Thursday’s violence in Jos would spill over to Kaduna yesterday.

“You can even see that I I’m not displaying my wares fully outside and the shop entrance is partly closed,” he said.

“This is to avoid destruction. Should anything happen, I can easily disappear.

“The tension affected our business, as those who wanted to buy things couldn’t see us in the shop.

“Some of us may not even open for business for some time to allow tension cool down.” Meanwhile, security agents paraded the city and normalcy returned around midday.

Earlier on Thursday, the state government and the police had assured everyone in the state of adequate security.

At a meeting with Igbo and Yoruba communities in Kaduna, Police Commissioner Agyole Abeh advised residents to go about their normal businesses.

“There is no crisis in Kaduna. The state is peaceful, I advise everybody to open his shops as usual and do your business,” he said.

“Don’t be apprehensive, the rumour is baseless and unfounded. Our men are on the  alert all the time to ensure peaceful atmosphere in the State.”

Responding, Chris Nnoli and Yinka Olapade for the Igbo and Yoruba communities respectively thanked the Police for their action.

The two community leaders blamed social media for the unwarranted rumour, and assured the police that they would take the message back to their people that Kaduna is actually peaceful.

 

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