The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) on Wednesday reacted to the claim by the Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) the attack and killing of northerners and their cattle at Lokpanta in Abia State was carried out by its armed wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN).
CNG was reacting to a statement attributed to IPOB spokesperson, Emma Powerful, which hailed ESN for the attack.
Powerful, in the statement, admitted that IPOB and ESN were responsible for the killing of cows for allegedly encroaching into people’s farmlands.
“We also warn the Fulani terrorists not to venture attack on any community in the area as is in their nature. If they attack any community, that means Fulani will no longer be allowed to do business again in that market,” Powerful said.
Reacting, the CNG in a statement issued by its spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, blamed Igbo leaders, particularly the Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, for allegedly encouraging and providing state cover for the incessant attacks and killing of herders and cows “by shrouding IPOB/ESN murderers as unknown gunmen”.
Some of the affected traders who spoke with Daily Trust lamented that they live in Abia State “as if they were not Nigerians”.
Chairman of the Aba Cattle Market, Alhaji Ibrahim Jidda, told Daily Trust that the cattle market was relocated to a remote location three months ago by the Abia State Government and not long after moving to the new location the traders came under attack which led to the murder of nine persons.
“After the attack, the state governor promised to pay N2 million to each family of the victims, but as I am talking to you, he did not fulfil the pledge. The way and manner we are being treated here as if we are not Nigerians, this is the reason why many of our people are relocating back to the North, and they are even doing better over there.
“I am from Mubi town in Adamawa state, and in my state, there are many people from the other side of the country especially the Igbos and they are doing fine with their businesses over there and nobody disturbs them. But we are here being treated as if we are foreigners,” he said.
Jidda recalled that gunmen attacked Lokpanta Cattle Market in Umuneochi Local Government area on Saturday where they killed one Usman Dagi, an indigene of Adamawa State, along with 19 cows.
“The deceased took the cows from the market to a nearby area to drink water but the gunmen attacked him. They cut off his head and his private part and went with it. They left his dismembered corpse they also killed 19 cows. We want the government to do something, we want the government to give us protection and our property” he said.