Delta Says No Sectarian Violence In Asaba
... THEWILL Correspondent Reports Seeing Traces of Blood On Stained Clothes At the Hausa/Fulani Dominated Abraka Market In Town
SAN FRANCISCO, February 09, (THEWILL) – The Delta State Government has said the sectarian violence that occurred Thursday afternoon in some parts of Onitsha, Anambra State did not spread into Asaba.
An emailed statement from the Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Chike Ogeah said, “Some of the traders are believed to have crossed the Niger Bridge into Asaba to seek refuge…”
“The Government of Delta State hereby states unequivocally that there is no disturbance or violence of any nature in Asaba, the Delta State capital. No trader or any person of any ethnic or religious group was attacked in Asaba or, indeed, any part of the state today,” Ogeah stated.
The full text of the statement reads, “Earlier today, there were reports of disturbances among traders in Onitsha, the commercial city in Anambra State, separated only by the Niger River from Asaba, capital of Delta State. Reports had suggested that a dispute between traders from the northern part of the country and their hosts had turned violent.
“Some of the traders are believed to have crossed the Niger Bridge into Asaba to seek refuge.
“However, this situation is being misrepresented by sections of the media to the effect that traders of northern extraction are being attacked in Asaba and Onitsha. While we may not be able to account for the precise nature of the disturbance in Onitsha, the traders that crossed to Asaba did so in search of refuge from the disturbance.
“The Government of Delta State hereby states unequivocally that there is no disturbance or violence of any nature in Asaba, the Delta State capital. No trader or any person of any ethnic or religious group was attacked in Asaba or, indeed, any part of the state today.
“In the heat of the tension generated by the on-going sectarian violence in some northern parts of the country, His Excellency, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, governor of Delta State, had held meetings with leaders of all ethnic and religious communities residing in the state and assured them of their safety in any part of the state.
“Delta State and its people have never recorded any incident of sectarian violence against people of other ethnic groups or religious persuasions resident in the state.
“We hereby assure all Nigerians that Delta State remains peaceful and a safe haven for all residents. More importantly, nobody or trader was attacked in Asaba or any part of the state today or at any other time.
“The State Police Command has deployed its personnel to the area where the traders are presently quartered and has had no incident of violence to deal with.”
THEWILL can however authoritatively report that Hausas in Asaba were attacked at the popular Abraka Market, where the Hausa/Fulani traders do other businesses. The Market is located along Benin/Onitsha freeway, just a few blocks from the Asaba Textile Mill.
THEWILL correspondent in Delta visited the market after the attack and saw traces of human blood on clothes, shoes and some other items of fleeing Hausa/Fulanis. Scores including women and aged men are presently taking refuge at the A Division of the Police Command in the capital city.
Three are unconfirmed reports that 3 persons were killed in the Asaba attack.
Delta State Police Spokesman, Mr. Charles Muka however admitted to local correspondents that an attack took place in Asaba but said he could not confirm the number of casualties as at the time of filing this report.