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Exodus: Southerners head home for fear of election violence



In what appears to be a bandwagon effect, hundreds of non-indigenes residing in the commercial city of Kano and its environs have begun to stream out of Kano en masse to their various states of origin in southern and eastern parts of the country for fear of election violence.

Report revealed that there was a steady build-up of passengers leaving the state for the eastern and southern parts of the country in droves.

The panic was palpable, as non-indigenes believed that whichever way the presidential election goes, should they remain in the Sabon Gari, Badawa and Kawo districts of the city where they reside, they will be the victims.

Most houses in the said neighbourhoods and other areas of the metropolis were under lock and key.

The fleeing non-indigenes complained that they had always been targets of any attack by their hosts in Kano anytime there was tension in the city.

Report also revealed that the railway station in Kano was busy with passengers who loaded their belongings as they departed the city, while those who owned cars hit the road on homeward journeys with their families.

Mrs. Agnes Onyema, an Igbo trader from Abia State, said her neighbours had fled the state for fear of violence, while their community in Sabon Gari, which is largely occupied by non-indigenes, had also been deserted.

Reacting to the exodus, the state Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Ransom Bello, urged the non-indigenes to remain in the state and cast their votes for the candidates of their choice.

Bishop Bello assured them that the forthcoming general election will be peaceful, stressing that security operatives would redouble their efforts to ensure peace in the state.

The state police command also assured non-indigenes of their safety, stating that the government was seriously committed to the peaceful conduct of the general election, pointing out that adequate security had been deployed in the state to protect the lives and properties of the people.

Police spokesman, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Musa Magaji Majia, urged people to report any suspicious persons likely to cause trouble, while appealing to residents to continue supporting the security agencies in sustaining peace and unity in the state.

ThisDay, February 04, 2015

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