Igbos in Kano Accuse Their Chief of Inviting Thugs to Disrupt Peace in Sabon Gari
Igbo residents of Sabon Gari in Fagge local government area of Kano State have accused one of their factional leaders, Boniface Ibekwe, of causing the mayhem that occurred in the area on Tuesday which resulted in loss of lives and property.
Ibekwe had said on Saturday during a stakeholders’ meeting organized by Fagge local government chairman that the Igbo community condemned and apologized for the unrest that occurred on Tuesday and Wednesday.
He said “the protesters came to my house throwing stones because I did not support them to stage the protest. Because I cannot support evil, I earlier appealed to them not to embark on the protest because Kano is a peaceful state and at the same time volatile…”
But the Igbo leader has been called out by members of his community who said he was hugely responsible for the deaths and destruction that occurred on Tuesday, accusing him of mobilizing thugs to unleash terror on his own people.
A neighbor of the Igbo chief at his Freetown residence who said he witnessed the whole Tuesday incidence told Nigerian Sketch that “protesters matched to Igbekwe’s house chanting slogans. They demanded of him to come and address them, but he refused to come down. When they persisted, he took his mobile phone and made a phone call. I don’t know to who, but about thirty minutes later, a truckload of thugs arrived at the scene brandishing machete, cutlasses and other dangerous weapons
“They attacked the protesters, killing some and causing injuries to plenty. It was a terrible site. I had to remain and watch from the safety of my house which is opposite that of the chief.”
Tochukwu Nwabueze, a crayfish seller at Sabon Gari market said “Chief Igbekwe must take the blame for all the unfortunate disruption of peace that happened in Sabon Gari on Tuesday. By inviting thugs into the area, he caused pandemonium and gave opportunists the opening to wreck havoc.
“I want to believe that the chief was afraid that the protesters may harm him, but he should have called on the security agents, not thugs.”
One of the protesters who refused to be named said “I was there and we were just chanting and asking the chief to come and speak to us and, all of a sudden, a truck arrived and these thugs jumped down and started to come after us with all sorts of weapons. I ran for my life just like many others did. But some were not lucky as they were hacked down, killed and injured.”
The incidence at Freetown Road spread rapidly to other parts of Sabon Gari, with Burma, Odotola, Sanya Olu and Abedi roads first becoming targets of looting and destruction.
A group of Sabon Gari youths wrote to Nigerian Sketch to demand that Kano State government causes an investigation into the role played by the chief.
Nigerian Sketch visited Ibekwe’s residence on Sunday and found a notable presence of security operatives guarding the vast premises.