by Emmanuel Obe, Awka
Police in Anambra State have denied some Muslims residing at the Headbridge Mosque, Onitsha were attacked on Sunday by persons allegedly acting on the orders of the Anambra State Government.
Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Raphael Uzoigwe, told our correspondent that the mosque was among the structures earmarked for demolition, following the government’s decision to expand the Headbridge – Upper Iweka section of the Onitsha – Enugu Expressway.
He said government had for long ordered owners of structures in the area to relocate and that the demolition was to enforce the relocation order. He said nobody was attacked.
But the leadership of the Muslim community at Headbridge said at least 10 of their members were injured when hoodlums suspected to be members of the defunct task force on parks and markets otherwise known as Ndi Mpiawazu allegedly attacked Islamic worshipers at the mosque.
There was commotion at the Headbridge when hundreds of the Muslims poured into the street to protest the alleged attack.
Addressing reporters on the incident, the leader of the Hausa and Yoruba communities in the area, Alhaji Habib Faruk, alleged that the hoodlums numbering over 50, stormed the mosque at about 4am and attacked their members.
He said, “We got information this morning that a group of boys suspected to be Mpiawazu attacked some of our members who slept in the mosque and ordered them to leave, some of them to tried to put up resistance were attacked with axes and machetes while their mobile phones were collected from them.”
Faruk said a bulldozer was moved in a few hours after the attack to demolish the mosque.
He said, “The Governor (Peter Obi) had told us that he would provide us with alternative for us to build another mosque and transact our business. But till date, we have not seen the Governor or his representative because we see everything as ploy to sack us from Onitsha.”
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