Unknown gunmen reportedly murdered seven suya sellers in Imo State on Friday and Saturday in separate shootings in Orlu and Umuaka in the Njaba Local Government Area of the state.
NEWSCASTARS.COM gathered from the Punch that an eyewitness, Harisu Ishiaku, said that the suspected killers, who were dressed in military uniform and numbered more than seven, stormed the Afor Umuaka Market around 8.30pm, accosted the victims in their shops and shot them.
He said four of the victims were in the age bracket of 30 to 45 and had lived in the area for many years without any trouble or attack from any member of the community.
Imo State Coordinator of Hausa traders, Mallam Ibrahim Abdulkadir, said the first incident happened on Friday as three suya (roasted meat) sellers were about to close for the day when gunmen in a Sienna car emerged from nowhere and shot at them.
He said, “Actually, this thing started since on April 2. I was called that three persons had been killed by some men operating in a Siena car. The victims were suya sellers and were killed just as they were closing their shop in the night.
“Just as we were about to handle the situation, yesterday (Saturday) I was called again that four persons were killed by the same people.”
The bodies of the victims had been taken to Owerri in preparation to burying them according to Muslim rites.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Gender, Vulnerable Groups, Northern Affairs (Men), Ibrahim Sulaiman, said the state government, as well as security agencies, were on top of the matter.
“We have just finished a meeting with government officials and head of security agencies in the state. They’ve intervened in 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,” Sulaiman stated.