By Abba Gwale
Eight more northerners have also been killed and six sustained series of injuries in a fresh attack last week.
This happened a few days after gunmen attacked a correctional centre and a police station as well as the killings of innocent people by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Imo State.
In an interview with Hausa service of BBC, a northerner said they are now living in fear in some parts of the state and many of them are now forced to return to the North.
Alhaji Iliyasu Sulaiman, a business man, told BBC Hausa that his younger brother was shot dead and that three other northerners were injured in Orlu town.
He said “We buried eight people and six others are receiving treatment in the hospital.
“We don’t know the cause as we did not engage in any fight with anybody but they are killing our people anyhow. My younger brother was just sitting with his three friends and they shot at them, killed him and injured the other three,”
According to him, as a result of the incessant killings, over 100 people had since return to their respective states of origin within the last two weeks.
“So far, I know about 60 people that went back to Sokoto, more than 20 others also from Kano and Katsina have gone back and some are preparing to go too,” he said.
Another northerner, Alhaji Sani Ahmad Mai Rago, lamented that despite the deployment of security personnel to the Hausa community in Owerri, the action was not enough because only 30 per cent of them are secured in the area.
Mai Rago called on the authorities to provide more security as many were killed while doing their businesses, adding that some of them are now living indoors because of fear of the gunmen.
“There is a need to provide adequate security everywhere if really they want to address the problem. Honestly speaking, we are living in fear. As I’m talking to you now, I didn’t go anywhere today,” he added.
The Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma, has assured the northern community in the state that the state government is determined to protect them and their properties.
Hon. Sulaiman Ibrahim Sulaiman, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Gender and Vulnerable Persons (Men) and the Garkuwan Hausa (shield of Hausa community) said the reports of many northerners are leaving the state are untrue describing Imo State as the safest place for them to live.