Two persons, were on Saturday, killed when gunmen attacked some residents at New Market in Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State, Nigeria’s south-east.
The gunmen, who stormed the area at about 6:25 a.m., also attacked residents at different locations of the state.
Residents said the gunmen were wearing masks on their faces and operated in a tricycle.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the hoodlums, numbering about 10, shot indiscriminately at Abakpa Nike in Enugu East Council Area and Holy Ghost Junction in Enugu North Council Area, forcing traders and other residents to scamper for safety.
Like in Imo, the gunmen who carried out attacks in Enugu were said to be enforcing a- five-day controversial sit-at-home declared by a faction of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
How the gunmen killed the victims
A witness at the New Market, Chidi Nnaji, told PREMIUM TIMES that the gunmen opened fire on residents and business people who were heading to their shops for the day’s business.
“The gunmen shot sporadically in front of the market and all of us ran away. We only returned later to see a woman and a man in pool of their blood,” he said.
“The woman is a food vendor. She sells cooked rice in front of the former CitiBank gate.”
Mr Nnaji said although the two victims were rushed to Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, they were already dead before arrival.
A video clip which showed the victims in the hospital has gone viral on Facebook.
In the clip, seen by PREMIUM TIMES, the two victims — a man and a woman -– were lying lifeless on the ground, while residents who gathered around were lamenting the attack.
The identities of the victims could not, however, be ascertained.
At Abakpa, a resident, Tochukwu Nweze, told this newspaper that residents were running helter-skelter due to sporadic shootings by the gunmen in the area.
Razing of police vehicle
Also, at the New Market, just opposite the popular Colliery Hospital, Enugu, the gunmen also attacked some police officers, and set their operational truck ablaze.
The officers, it was learnt, initially engaged the gunmen in a shoot-out when they attempted to attack some residents in the area. But they took to their heels when the gunmen overpowered them, and subsequently razed their vehicle.
A video clip showing the police truck in flames has been circulating on Facebook.
Normalcy, however, returned to the New Market and Holy Junction areas when a combined team of police and army officers began patrolling the areas, hours after the attack.
Ogbete Main Market, which was earlier deserted by fleeing traders due to the attacks, later resumed business activities.
The police spokesperson in the state, Daniel Ndukwe, did not respond to calls and a WhatsApp message seeking comments from him about the attacks in the state.
Simon Ekpa, a controversial Biafra agitator and leader of pro-Biafran group, Autopilot IPOB, a faction of the IPOB, had declared a five day sit-at-home across Nigeria’s south-east to be observed from 9 to 14 December.
Tuesday, 13 December, was excluded.
Mr Ekpa, who made the declaration on Wednesday via his verified Twitter handle, claimed that the sit-at-home order was in response to some “proactive measures” being put in place by unnamed Biafran agitators to address the rising insecurity in the region, which according to him, was caused by Nigerian government.
He warned residents of the region to stay indoors throughout the five-day period or have themselves to blame if they disobey the order.
Shortly after his declaration, a video clip, which showed a rifle leaning on a tree in a thick forest, surfaced online.
In the clip, shared on various WhatsApp groups, a voice was heard ordering residents of the region to observe the five-day sit-at-home.
“Stay in your house. If you come out, you will die. Mark my word,” the voice said.
But several Igbo leaders condemned the declaration and urged residents of the region to disregard the order.
Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the IPOB, repeatedly disowned the declaration and asked residents of the region to ignore it.
Source : The Premium Times