Igbos to traders plan to leave Maiduguri

By IndepthAfrica
In Nigeria
Apr 26th, 2012

Following serial killings of people of Igbo descent in Maiduguri Borno State and environs, Igbo traders and businessmen are considering withdrawal of all their businesses from the state.

Speaking to Nigerian Tribune on Thursday in Maiduguri, Mr Nnamdi Okereke said they thought the killing was not all about Igbos, but recently they were beginning to have a rethink as the number of Igbos being killed in the state were becoming alarming.

“Last week, six people were killed in Chess Con area in their home and they are all Igbos. If you look around, the locals here are taking over our businesses; they are replacing Igbos in selling of building materials and those gunmen never go there to attack them. We are thinking that, there is a kind of collaboration between the gunmen and some northern business- men to replace us. But they are forgetting that all

the building materials they are selling in the North are coming from our areas,” he explained.

According to Okereke, most of their people had now relocated from Maiduguri, adding that “I will say more than 70 per cent of our people have left. They are now in places like Benue, Taraba, Nassarawa, Kano and Jos in the North. We have been told that we should leave and we thought we are all Nigerians, but even the leadership of this state particularly are only deceiving us, because they are not doing anything to ensure the protection of lives and properties of Igbos.”

He said several Igbos who had contributed to the development of Borno State in particular were killed but not in any case had any leader or government representative sent to commiserate with the families and Igbo community in the state.

“Hundreds of our people have been killed, we are people of peace who have helped in the development of the state; you journalists have been writing but have you ever written that the governor or the Shehu or any big man from this state visited us to condole with or help when our properties have been destroyed by their own children?” Mr Okereke queried.Tribune

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