Commercial activities were paralysed in Kano yesterday as Igbo traders across the 44 local government areas of the state shut their shops.
The traders’ action was to protest the alleged killing of Augustine Tochukwu Ilo, 42, a patent medicine dealer, by men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Ilo from Umunze in Orumba-South of Anambra State, was shot by two men identified as SARS operatives from Bompai Police Headquarters, last Wednesday.
The over 10,000 protesters gathered at Rumfa Primary School, Sabon Gari, to also protest the killing of Bridget Agbahime by religious fundamentalists at Kofar Wambai market about three months ago.
They prayed for the repose of the souls of the departed and demanded justice, insisting that never again should such cruel actions be taken against them.
The traders carried placards with inscriptions such as, “Enough is enough, stop killing Igbos”; “Igbos are God’s own people, even animals cannot be killed as the Igbos are being indiscriminately killed in Kano”; “What is our offence, are we not Nigerians?”
Tochukwu’s widow, Ebere said she was in Onitsha in Anambra State when she heard about her husband’s ill fate.
“We left Kano a month ago. His business was not moving well as a lot of people owed him. On that Wednesday when I heard the news, I returned to Kano but he was pronounced dead before I got there.
“I am still in shock; he was all I had after God. Who will take care of me and my children—Chisom (seven months) and two-year old Chinonso? My husband was peace-loving. They owed him and now they have killed him; what was his offence?”
His elder brother, Osita said the deceased spoke before he died.
Addressing reporters, Chairman of the Amalgamation of Igbo Traders Union (AITU), Chief Emmanuel C. Amadi, described the murders as unfortunate, insisting that they did not commit any offence.
“Those SARS operatives and the religious fundamentalists just decided to waste the lives of these innocent Igbo traders.
“The gathering today (yesterday) encompasses all tribes, ranging from Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Efik and other minority tribes, all of who are troubled over these incidents,” he said.
Chief Amadi prayed that Tochukwu’s widow, Ebere and the children, as well as Mike, Mrs. Agbahime’s husband, would be empowered to bear the loss.
Police spokesman Musa Magaji Majia said the suspects in the murder cases were in detention, promising that justice will be served. The Nation