From Desmond Mgboh, Kano
THOUSANDS of Igbo traders and businessmen in Kano State, yesterday staged a peaceful demonstration to express their anger and grief over the spate of cold-blooded murder of their colleagues and relatives in the state in recent times.
The victims included Mr. Tochukwu Augustine Ilo who was killed by the operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad a week ago and Mrs. Bridget Agbaheme, who was hacked to death by Islamic extremists for alleged blasphemy.
The protest held amid tight security by the police, commenced with the closure of thousands of shops owned by Igbo traders in the different markets in the metropolis as early as 6 00am. Affected were the Abubakar Rimi Market, the Iron and Steel Market in Kofar Ruwa, Kofar Wambai Market, including shops and small businesses that line the streets of Sabon-Garri metro area.
Over 5,000 traders and businessmen converged at the Rumfa Primary School, Enugu Road, Sabon Garri, Kano where the mourners assembled. The mourners paid tribute to the deceased and asked God to help stop the killings of Igbo in the state while youths sang round the field carrying placards.
Chairman of the Sabon-Garri Market Igbo Traders Association, who addressed the press, restated his condemnation of the brutal murder of his member, saying he was a good man killed in bad taste.
Eze Ndigbo Kano, Chief Boniface Ibekwe disclosed the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi 11 had waded into the issue, assuring the traders of the determination of the monarch to ensure that justice was done.
He said they were gathered to mourn his demise while adding that they would do evertything within their powers to ensure that his death was not in vain.
He tasked the police authorities to quickly bring the culprits to book even as he asked the government to take definite steps to end to the random killing of Igbo people in the state.
He thanked the three tri-cylists, who chased after the SARS operatives to the hospital after they took away their victim, saying but for their heroic act, the late Ilo might have been labelled as a criminal.
The widow, Ebere, told Daily Sun that she was called on phone and asked to rush from Onitsha, regretting that by the time she arrived Kano ,he had passed on.
She wondered how she and their two children would survive in the light of the death of their father. She described herlate husband was a good man and a lovely dad who will be greatly missed by them all.