Wars in Nigeria reach Bengaluru, gangs clash on city streets

First Published 25, Sep 2017, 12:31 PM IST
Nigerians indulge in bloody Biafra struggle in 20 days disrupting Bengaluru peace
  • Infighting in Nigeria is allegedly causing gang wars and violence in Bengaluru
  • On Sunday, a group of Nigerians attacked a fellow countryman and set his fire ablaze
  • Earlier in September a Nigerian was found dead near a railway gate in Hennur allegedly as a result of skirmish among fellow nationals
  • The police is considering deporting these students involved in the skirmishes

In the early hours of Sunday, Nigerian Elvis Ohachosim’s residence in Hennur was attacked and his car set ablaze. Residents in the area woke up to loud shouts and chaos and could not fathom why their mornings were being marred by rioting  foreigners.

According to a report in Times of India, the attack was a provoked one. Elvis had attacked two Nigerians on Saturday allegedly over the secessionist struggle back in their home country. The group retaliated on Sunday by attacking Elvis’s home.

Elvis in his complaint to the police listed that a gang of 12 Nigerians came to his house at 3am and began banging on his door and shouting warnings to him. When he refused to come out, they set fire to his car.

According to this report, the police have said that the fighting was due to a political reason and had connections with a recent death of a Nigerian national in Bengaluru. Police have registered an FIR against the 12 and even Elvis.

Elvis, however, denies the theory of secessionist struggle or the Biafra wars being behind this. All he has to say is that some Nigerians murdered a fellow national and that is not acceptable. They were only trying to bring about an order and justice to the incident. He denied there being any groups. 

In this Sunday incident, it is alleged that the fire and attack was a result of a fight between the Nigerians. The country is already under the grip of infighting (pro-Biafra advocates) and this tension, time and again, resurfaces in the places abroad where Nigerians stay as well. The secessionist struggle deals with a group of people in Nigeria demanding the restoration of the sovereignty of the Republic of Biafra by Nigerian security forces, especially the Nigerian army, across the southeastern parts of Nigeria. 

This could be considered the second time a Nigerian has been attacked in Bengaluru because of the turbulent politics in the country.

The first incident of Nigerian infighting was reported in the city on September 3, where N. Chigozie, a 33-year-old who had come to India with a student visa was found dead under suspicious circumstances near the railway gate in Hennur, northeast Bengaluru. Nigerian media websites have also reported this incident as being related to the Biafra struggle. 

The younger brother of Chigozie, Nieshko, had claimed that his brother was killed over an argument over Biafra. Six of them had been partying at a house in Byrathi and suddenly a skirmish broke out between them. Both the brothers Chigozie and Nieshko were badly beaten up. The brothers went to hospital for treatment separately. Police reports say that Chigozie’s bike skidded while he was returning from the hospital, he suffered a head injury and that is how he had died. While Nieshko alleges it was a murder by those that had attacked them a while ago.  

Now the fight involving Elvis was over who was supporting Nieshko. Elvis is believed to have led a gang of Nieshko’s supporters and attacked Christoper Okwi Onuigbo and his friend Ani Charles, who was arrested for the September 2 attack on Nieshko, near Byrathi, on Saturday night.

Police have registered four cases combining the two incidents and will be approaching the embassy to get these students who were involved in these skirmishes deported.

Till now, media reportage has shown how the Nigerian community have not had a very popular or cordial relationship with the locals. Police have repeatedly busted drug rackets involving Nigerians and so unconsciously Nigerians, for most, represent druggies or drug dealers. An image which is working against the peace loving community. Such incidents have branded the entire community with a bad name.