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Traders, youths attack el-Rufai at demolished Kaduna market

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Ortom donates N50m to victims of Otukpo market inferno
Angry traders and youths yesterday stoned Governor Nasir el-Rufai at the demolished Kasuwa Berchi market in Tudun-Wada, during an inspection tour of the site after the demolition by the governor.

Video clips of the pandemonium following the stoning of the governor by the mob were made available to journalists in Kaduna.

Armed soldiers and police shot sporadically into the air to disperse the mob, as the governor was smuggled into his official car and driven away.

El-Rufai visited the market area around 5pm on Monday, and upon sighting him, the angry youths and women started hurling stones at him calling him “Barawo” (Hausa word for ‘thief’).

An affected trader, who gave his name as Musa Zubairu, said, “The governor has destroyed our lives by demolishing our market; where can we go to work now?

“This governor has no pity for us and Allah will pay him back.”

Attempt by The Guardian to get the governor, through his aide, to speak on the issue was futile.

Meanwhile, the attack on the governor generated anger in government quarters, as more bulldozers were brought to the site yesterday, after the mob action, to finish the demolition.

In another development, Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has donated N50 million to the victims of the fire that gutted some sections of Otukpo Main Market in the state.

Ortom, who announced the donation after inspecting the burnt section of the market, said the amount was an interim support to the victims to enable them to start life anew, pending the outcome of the report of a probe panel he will set up.

According to the governor, the committee to be constituted will inquire into the incident and possibly work out how the market will be relocated to accommodate more traders.

His words: “The special committee comprising my cabinet members and the traders’ unions would be set up to liaise with Otukpo Council chairman to work out modalities on how the money would be shared among the victims.

“The Otukpo Main Market is no longer enough for the traders. I will mandate cabinet members to join the chairman to work out things for them to move to a new site.

“Also, we will press on all those traders, who took government to court, to withdraw all the cases. Right now, the market is not enough for those coming into the market.”

The governor added that his administration was disturbed by the spate of insecurity in Otukpo and environs.

“You must join hands to do this, to draw investment in Otukpo. We must be agents of change and volunteer information to security agencies.”


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