One of the victims of last Thursday’s clash between members of the Rivers State task force on illegal trading and some suspected Hausa traders, Mr. Simeon C. Nsirimovu has narrated his ordeal after the attack.
Nsirimovu, a member of the taskforce from Apara clan in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state almost lost one of his eyes during the incident, but escaped with a deep cut on his right eye.
According to him, we were on routine patrol when we met some Hausa Fulani men trading along Oginigba road, the slaughter where the governor demolished. They were as many as, they even turned the area to a market.
“When we went there and asked them to remove the umbrella and things that they were selling there, one of us came down from the vehicle to approach them, only for one of the Hausa boys, brought out dagger and stabbed him in his hand, that prompted other task force members to come down from the patrol vehicle.
“Immediately we came down from the vehicle, to our greatest surprise, what we saw was massive attack, they were using those blocks, concretes that were broken, they were using it on us massively, to the extent that we had to retreat and begin to run for our dear life. On the process, so many people were injured, including me that is speaking now. One of my eyes is already closed, the policemen attached to the task force and other task force members sustained serious injury.”
Nsirimovu while stressing on the excruciating pain he was feeling all over his body, appreciated God for saving his life, that of his colleagues and the policemen attached to them. He also commended the officers that rescued one of the taskforce members whose condition he said was still critical.
“One of us is still lying critical at the hospital as I am talking to you now. We don’t know his fate, by the grace of God, I think God will save his life, because on the process of running for our dear life, he fell out of the van and the Hausa men met him there and were using stone on him, if not for the intervention of some policemen that finally went and rescued him from the Hausa men, if not, by now I think the news would have been that he is already dead. That is what we saw yesterday at Trans-Amadi.”
Speaking on what should be done by the state government to avert a repeat of such horrible incident, he said “for me, from my observation, after the demolition of that slaughter market, there was still a building that is still standing there, they said it’s a mosque, and that mosque has been the reason why you see some of these Hausa men still clustering around the area, trying to turn back the place to a market square.
“I will advise the government to do everything within their power to remove that building; that mosque there so that there will be absolute peace, and also, fence the area because if the area is not fenced, they will still find their way into that place to form a market and begin to build other illegal structures within the area.
“So, I will advise the government to do everything within their power to remove that mosque there and fence the area, so that there will be total peace in that area.”