The Hausa Community in Nnewi is desperately in need of its own market and burial ground, where members can do their business and bury their dead loved ones.
The community, which has existed in Nnewi since the early 1970s, said apart from the two issues, they are happy and living peacefully with their host community.
The Chief of Hausa community in Nnewi, Alhaji Mohammed Diya said the indigenes of Nnewi have been friendly with them in everything, but have not been able to meet their demands for land where they can establish their own market and burial ground.
“Hausa people living in Nnewi are many and we are not happy because we do not have a market that is called Hausa market. A market where we can bring cattle, bags of maize and other farm produce and sell. Apart from the issues of market and burial ground, we don’t have any problem with the people here. They are very friendly and accommodating.
According to him, Hausa businessmen are interested in bringing cattle, goats and different farm produce to sell to the people, which would be for the benefit of both Nnewi and Hausa people.
“We are many here and we have our mosque where we have worshipped since 1972. If they give us land, after some time they will collect it back because they said in Igbo land, land belongs to families and not government. If any of our members dies here, the corpse is taken to Awka for burial. We have met with the Igwe of Nnewi, HRM Igwe Orizu, and he has been promising us all these years and we are still expecting him to fulfill the promise.
I have been in Nnewi since 1973. The person that brought me here was Alhaji Bello Sambo; he lived in this compound and died here. One Idrisu became the second chief of Hausa community and when he died, I became the third chief. I am still here where they lived and died,” he stated.
“I speak Igbo language very well; the only thing is that I cannot write Igbo. My daughter Fatima came first in Igbo language here in Nnewi at the Women Development Centre.”
The Secretary of Hausa Community in Nnewi, Mr. Sali Suleiman, who also spoke with Daily Trust, reiterated that they are living well with their host community.
“We have been requesting for a plot of land to establish our own market since we are not into the business of motor parts. We have been making this request since the old Anambra State, when I had not even come to Nnewi. We have written to so many governors even before Anambra State was created. We will continue to make the request. May be one day, we will get the land to do our own business.
“During the military regime of Col. Rufai Garba, a plot of land was allocated to us for a market but, along the line, some people came up and said that government does not own land in Nnewi and so does not have the right to give out family land to anybody. Since we do not want problems with our landlords, we did not protest,” he said.
Suleiman dismissed fears of disagreement or conflicts of any kind with the natives. “The IPOB issue is not in any way disturbing us and anyone who tells you that the IPOB is affecting us here is lying. We do not have any challenges with the people here; we are living peacefully with them. I have been in Nnewi for 34 years and we have not had any major issue with the indigenes,” he said.