Sunday, January 8, 2012

WAR DRUMS •Northerners flee Asaba


Sun News
8 January 2011

•Northerners flee Asaba
From: TIMOTHY OLA, ISMAIL OMIPIDAN (Kaduna), David MAlomo (Yola), PAUL ORUDE (Bauchi) and TIMOTHY OLA, Maiduguri PAUL OSUYI, ASABA, Timothy OLA, VICTOR EBIMOMI, EMMANUEL UZOR, Onitsha with agency

The dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram made real its January 1 threat yesterday [Friday 6th] as it launched a deadly attack on worshippers at a church in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, killing no fewer than 11 people.

The attack came barely five hours after the Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim assured Christians and southerners residing in the North of their safety, promising that the police would nip any possible attack on the people in the bud. The attack, also came barely 24 hours after some Igbos were killed, in Mubi, also in Adamawa State, by men suspected to be Boko Haram members.
The attack was said to have been carried out at about 7.30 pm yesterday with the sect members numbering about five storming a local assembly of Christ Apostolic Church within Yola metropolis in a gulf car and opening fire on worshippers.

“They came in a gulf car and they were about five of them in the car though we never thought they were in the area for such a thing. They just opened fire at the members of the church who were holding the New Year week of prayer. Eleven people died while about 10 other members that sustained injuries from gunshots have been taken to different hospitals in the town for treatment,” a dependable source who preferred anonymity disclosed.

Sources said there were apprehensions among residents of Yola yesterday morning as residents feared the Islamic sect might have infiltrated the city. “This is the first time the sect is launching attack here and there are fears that more may still be coming in the days ahead,” a journalist who also lost his cousin, Deacon Emma Timothy, who was leading the prayer, at the time of the attack, disclosed.

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Fear of reprisal in Sapele
Nigerians of northern extraction have started leaving Asaba, Delta State capital in droves for fear of reprisal attacks.
The exodus started on Thursday following threats of reprisal attacks by southerners on Muslims. There have been renewed activities of the dreaded Boko Haram Islamic sect which has ordered southerners to vacate the North or face further attacks. Following the order by the sect, speculations had been rife that southerners would retaliate by attacking Muslims in the South.

Sunday Sun reports that Friday’s early morning attack on Muslims in Sapele mosque appeared to have given credence to the speculation. Despite Delta State government’s assurance to Muslim community in the state of peaceful co-existence with other religious groups, the northerners seemed to have taken their destinies in their own hands.

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