By Iliya Kure
Masked men carrying guns, suspected to be members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), have on Monday killed a passenger and set ablaze a vehicle, in Enugu, southeast Nigeria.
The gunmen, who were enforcing the suspended Monday sit-at-home order, early hours of the day, also snatched away a minibus during the attack.
“They (gunmen) were shouting at some of the drivers there for coming out on a sit-at-home day. Suddenly, a Sienna vehicle went into flames. The passengers and driver ran away. I have told my Oga that I will not be working on Mondays again,”a driver, Anthony Ezeke, who witnessed the incident, told journalists.
He said the gunmen arrived the area as early as 6am in a convoy of three Toyota Camry vehicles.
Another, a bus driver, who also witnessed the attack, but pleaded anonymity, said the gunmen also killed a passenger who was negotiating the fare with the Sienna driver.
He said the gunmen ordered the passenger, who was to travel to Abakiliki, the Ebonyi State capital, to lie down, but he hesitated to prompt the hoodlums to shoot him.
“The driver was not killed, he ran away. But the gunmen snatched a minibus from another driver. They were wearing masks,” he said.
Reports say, the gunmen had issued warnings to Sienna drivers operating in the area to stop carrying out business operations on Mondays.
Spokesperson of Nigeria Police in Enugu State, Daniel Ndukwe, did not respond to calls and text messages from journalists seeking comments on the development.
Recently, attacks by gunmen have increased in southeast Nigeria suspected to be carried out by member of IPOB.
The group is agitating for the creation of Biafra Republic, to be carved out of the Southeast and South-south region of Nigeria.
IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, is currently in detention in Abuja, facing charges of treason.