As the nationwide EndSARS protests continue on Friday, emerging report reaching Page 36, indicates that several hundreds of youths on Thursday, stormed the streets of major cities in the North, including Kaduna, Gombe, Kano, and Bauchi States, in protest against the spate of kidnapping, armed robbery, and banditry, in the Northern region of the country.
With the hashtag #EndInsecurityNow, the protesters asked the President Muhammadu Buhari Federal Government to redeploy personnel of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, to the North, to join in combating the incessant insecurity in the region.
The protest was organised by the Coalition of Northern Groups, CNGs, which said that it is against the harassment, intimidation, and killing of Nigerians by the disbanded SARS.
The CNGs, however, argued that the region’s challenges are not that of SARS, but insecurity in the form of banditry, insurgency, and other related crimes.
The protesters hit the streets of Kaduna, around 9:30am, and marched through the Muhammadu Buhari Way, Ali Akilu Road, and Luggard Hall, to the State House of Assembly Complex.
They carried placards with inscriptions such as: ‘The North is Bleeding’, ‘Stop the Killings in the North’, ‘End Boko Haram Now’, ‘End Banditry Now’, ‘Empower SWAT to End Insecurity’, ‘All Lives Matter’, and ‘Stop Rape Now’, among others.
The Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Yusuf Zailani, sent the House Committee Chairman on Information, Ahmed Tanimu, to address the protesters.
The Leader of the protesters and Kaduna State Coordinator of the CNGs, Sa’ad Bako, said that the youths are merely protesting the unending killing, kidnapping, cattle rustling, banditry, and terrorism in the region.
He stated that the group respects the rights of those protesting against SARS.
However, in Bauchi, the CNG accused the #EndSARS campaigners of having selfish motives in their continued protests against Police brutality.
They wondered why the #EndSARS protesters were still on the streets, when the government and the Police authority had granted their request by disbanding the Special Police Unit.
The protesters disrupted free flow of traffic in and out of the Government House.
Members of the group expressed displeasure that no government Official was on ground to address them, after standing at the gate for close to an hour.
The Secretary of the CNGs, Abdulkadir Alkassim, described the #EndSARS protests going on in parts of the country as “regional protests”.
Another Leader of the group, Bello Aminu, said that the CNGs is different from the #EndSARS, because they are demanding an end to insecurity, rather than scraping of any Police Unit.
In Niger State, the group said that the government should find ways of curtailing insecurity in the Northern part of the country.
Addressing Journalists in Minna, the group stated that in spite of the abundant mineral resources in the North Central region, vices like kidnapping, banditry, and other forms of criminality, are thriving there.
The Coordinator of the group, Abubakar Mohammed, urged the State Government to wake up to its responsibility, and put adequate security in place in the troubled areas, to save the inhabitants.
More news later…