A little beyond Beach Junction, Obukpa, Nsukka in Enugu State, lies the charred remains of a truck containing motorcycle spare parts said to be worth over N30 million.
Since September 6, when it was set ablaze by masked hoodlums numbering about six, it has remained on the same spot; and as a constant reminder to residents of the dangerous turn the quest for Biafra in the region is taking.
The hoodlums, who put fire on the vehicle were enforcing a Monday sit-at-home order issued by the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB), which it had already cancelled via a statement issued by its spokesman, Emma Powerful, but which nonetheless continues to be enforced by the hoodlums whose capacity to unleash violence has unnerved many in the region.
“What they did here is very sad,” said a local trader within the vicinity, Fabian Ozioko, adding, “They have just destroyed the years of sweats of these young men over nothing. Is that how to fight for independence?”
The incident served to install fear in residents of Nsukka, the host community of the University of Nigeria. In a largely agrarian community, the impact of the continued lockdown on Mondays has been telling. From interior villages to cities, men and women count losses.
The complaints are widespread. And so is the violence being unleashed on the hapless populace by a gang of criminals in a zone becoming increasingly volatile. No one is safe, but prominent personalities are increasingly being targeted.
Since December 2020 when currently detained IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu launched an armed wing, Eastern Security Network (ESN), an outfit he said would tackle security threat posed by Fulani herders in the region, confrontations between the outfit and security agencies have led to the death of hundreds, especially in Imo State where the recent spate of violence began.
The resultant effect has been the proliferation of arms in hands of criminals who are now turning them against the population.