43 arrested as Katsina rioters raze police, immigration outposts
The police in Katsina State have arrested 43 suspects over Monday’s protest, which left one person dead and several others injured.
Youths in Daddara village, Jibia Council, took to the streets on Monday over incessant security challenges facing their communities.
Lamenting that bandits were killing and raping humans as well as rustling animals in the area daily, the rioters set up bonfires to block the road linking Jibia and Katsina metropolitan area.
They also reportedly set the police border control post, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) checkpoint and several vehicles in the area ablaze.
Countering the youths’ reason for the protest, the police claimed that smugglers sponsored it. A statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Gambo Isah, read in part: “On September 28, 2020 about 08.30hrs, the command received a report that some group of disgruntled youths and adults mainly from Daddara village came out in their numbers, rioting and protesting.
“The protesters were reported to have blocked the Katsina/Jibia highway, destroying vehicles of security agencies and that of innocent citizens passing along the highway. They also set ablaze a police border control post in Daddara, Nigerian Immigration Service checkpoint in Danmasani, one police border patrol van (stationary), one Volkswagen Golf III vehicle belonging to the officer-in-charge of the police border post, two AK-47 rifles belonging to Joint Border Drill Forces, as well as one AK-47 rifle and a pistol belonging to police mounted troops.”
The Guardian gathered that the rioters smashed the windscreens of many vehicles passing through the highway. Consequently, the command deployed Police Mobile Force (PMF) and conventional units to the area and arrested 43 suspected rioters.
Isah added: “The teams have brought the situation under control, as normalcy has returned to the area. But sadly, one person lost his life during the fracas.
“Investigation revealed that the riot was purportedly sponsored by smugglers and their agents targeting joint border patrol personnel and their facilities.
“The Commissioner of Police, Katsina State, Sanusi Buba, has promised to bring all perpetrators and their sponsors to book to serve as deterrent to others.”
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