Igbos are fleeing Enugu state and other parts of the eastern region in massive drove as the proscribed terror group, IPOB, continues its terror campaign characterized by killings and abductions. Their choice destination is Lagos State, the country’s commercial capital in the west.
Enugu, the former capital of the eastern region, became untenable for residents who are caught between the gunfire of marauding IPOB agents and government sanctions over compliance with IPOB restrictions.
The government began clamping down on businesses and individuals obeying the sit-at-home order issued by IPOB, after warning them against doing so. But residents insist that the government has proven incapable of protecting them when IPOB agents arrive to mete out punishment over non-compliance.
With safe options increasingly vanishing, they are now abandoning the state entirely for Lagos. Hundreds were filmed in a viral video heading hurriedly to Lagos via night buses in desperate search of peace and an economic lifeline. The migration has raised concern about the strain it is predicted to cause on the infrastructure of the state.
The deterioration of security in the eastern region has been blamed on political actors who indulged and shielded IPOB terrorists and politicized their criminality with hopes of riding on ‘Biafra nostalgia’ to power.
For instance, Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, remains unyielding in his public support for IPOB despite its well-established violent actions in the region. He legitimizes the terror group as a “body” and recently divorced it from the killings recorded in the East.
Although a joint military action is ongoing to wipe out the terrorists from the region, a permanent solution will remain elusive unless political leaders show courage and stage a social campaign against characters like Nnamdi Kanu and Simon Ekpa, analysts say.