Residents of Imo State have been thrown into panic, following the murder of seven traders of northern extraction.
DAILYTRUST reported that the victims were killed in separate shooting incidents in Orlu town and Umuaka in Njaba Local Government Area (LGA), between Friday and Saturday.
An eyewitness, Harisu Umaru Ishiaku, who narrated the incident to journalists, said that the killers, dressed in Military uniform, stormed the Afor Umuaka market around 8:30 pm and attacked the victims.
According to Ishiaku, four of the victims who are within the age bracket of 45 years and 30 years have lived in the area for many years.
He suspected that the people who carried out the attack are strangers, saying there has never any issue between the deceased and people of Umuaka community.
The first incident happened on Friday when three Suya sellers were about to close for the day, according to the Imo State Coordinator of Hausa traders, Mallam Ibrahim Abdulkadir.
Abdulkadir said some gunmen in a Sienna car emerged suddenly and pumped bullets into their body.
He said in a similar style, the same set of gunmen attacked four Hausa traders at Umuaka in Njaba.
According to him, Hausa traders in Orlu now live in fear.
In his words, “Actually this thing started on the second of this month. I was called that three people had been killed by some men operating in a Siena car. They were Suya sellers.
“Just as we were about to handle the situation, I was called again that four people were killed by the same people.”
It was gathered that the corpses of the victims have been taken to Owerri in preparation for burial.
Hon. Sulaiman Ibrahim Sulaiman, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Imo State on Gender, Vulnerable Groups, Northern Affairs (Men), said the state government as well as all the units of security agencies have waded into the matter.
Sulaiman called for peace to reign, sayimg Governor Hope Uzodimma is disturbed by the incidents.
He said, “We have just finished a meeting with government officials and head of security agencies in the state. They’ve waded into the matter to ensure that peace reigns. We cannot continue like this. We must nip this in the bud for the peace and security of our country.”