Muhammad Sabi’u and Aisar Fagge
The peaceful protests currently being held in many Northern Nigerian states as a result of the rising rate of killings and kidnappings have been hampered by men of the Nigera Police Force and the Department of State Service.
In Kano State, on Wednesday, 15th December, 2021 a group of protesters converged at NUJ Secretariat (Press Centre) to address members of the press and march on Kano streets to call on Federal Government to #SecureNorth and #EndBanditry particularly in Kaduna, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Niger among others but security agents thwarted their plans.
A leading convener of #SecureNorth protest in Kano, barrister Abba Hikima while addressing the press stated:
“People are being killed on a daily basis in these states and therefore, there is a need for our leaders to act. Let me ask this question: What are the service chiefs doing in Abuja? They should be deployed to these areas affected by security problems. Let them rescue all the victims. They know where they are. These terrorists are not unknown. Security know them and their families. They should all be arrested. Let something be done. That’s all we are saying.”
“Look at how security cordoned off the meeting point of our peaceful protests. They intimidated and threatened members of NUJ. They [security] are not willing to give way for the protest to take place. Section 39 says we have the right to express ourselves and section 40 says we have the right to assemble. We’re professionals. We know what the law says. What we expect from the security agents is to protect us as we’re expressing ourselves. Not to arrest and intimidate us,” he lamented.
“One of our demands is that security agents should be empowered with sophisticated weapons and everything they needed to face these terrorists head on,” barrister Hikima concluded.
During the briefing, some protesters lamented how the police are being used to stop the peaceful protests that was being held despite the fact that it’s for the benefit of all—irrespective of one being a civilian or otherwise.
Imam Azzubair spoke to The Daily Reality saying: “We are here making a peaceful protest. People are being killed all over 19 Northern states and nothing is being done. We want to call the attention of the state governments, the local governments and also the federal government, which is the most important part of the government, to take action to bring end of this banditry and killing of people. It’s obvious that you cannot safely travel from one state to another. Businesses are dying; people are dying.”
Noting that security personnel are also victims of the present situation, he added, “The security personnel are also here to stop us from protesting. A message to them is that they should know that we are together [with them] in this situation. They are also being killed… So we are protesting for ourselves including them.”
Another protestant, Sada Sulaiman berated the security personnel for being reluctant in thwarting the activities of terrorists but are always quick to crack down on peaceful protesters.
He said: “They were stationed [to stop the protest] at a time when people are being killed and burnt on a daily basis on the way to Kaduna and Zamfara, but you would never see them taking action against that. And the perpetrators are terrorists. That means terrorists have overpowered the government and, on the other hand, the government has overpowered the people.”
“A village would be stormed; people would be killed; women would be raped; some would be kidnapped; and people’s property would be carted away.
“We really need government intervention. Nowhere is now safe in Nigeria.”
Recall that there has been a spike of activities of bandit terrorists in the northwestern part of Nigeria, who, besides all their terrorist activities, a few days ago set ablaze a vehicle conveying no less than 42 passengers and left all the passengers completely burnt to ashes in Sokoto.