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News Update (January 9, 2012 12:54 PM...)

Dusk to dawn curfew in Kano as five feared dead at fuel subsidy removal protest


Photo: Protesters in Kano on 9/1/2012.

Kano (WorldStage Newsonline)-- The anti fuel subsidy removal protests turned violent in Kano on Monday as youths in their thousands, some in military uniform, invaded Kano Government House and overpowered security operatives.

The youths which the Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris described as criminals, besieged the Government House, broke through the vertical concrete slabs fencing of the complex and gained entry from several locations.

The security operatives stationed at the entrance of the Government House initially fired canisters of tear gas to disperse them, but they later overpowered the police. The Police then made a distress call on military reinforcement, who arrived and dispersed them, at the end of which unconfirmed reports said that no fewer than five youths lost their lives, while some law enforcement agents, including several protesters suffered varying degree of injury.

State Governor, Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso was said to be in the house during the attack.

Before the combined team of security operatives, comprising soldiers, mobile and regular police, State vigilante group, Customs and other security agents finally restored sanity, the miscreants, who hijacked the peaceful protest organized by labour had succeeded in burning or vandalizing not less than 24 vehicles, parked at the premises of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG).

A wing of the SSG building was burnt including a vehicle belonging to the state vigilante group

The rampaging youths invaded the Silver Jubilee Round in the heart of the city where they also wreaked havoc after severally clashing with security operatives stationed at the venue to ensure a peaceful protest.

The Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris lamented that criminals, who hijacked the peaceful protest embarked upon by labour in the state instead of heading to Race Course, where the State Governor was expected to address them.

He said that the Police could not fold their arms and allow hoodlums to gain entry into the Government House, where they were not scheduled to be, hence the clash with the Police.

He could not ascertain the number of arrest made so far, adding that investigation was in progress to establish the sponsors of the hoodlums and their mission.

However, observers said at least 15 arrests were made, while one of the suspects, clad in military uniform confessed that he was from Borno State.

Meanwhile, the State Commissioner of Information and Internal Affairs, Dr Umar Farouk Jibril at a press conference announced the imposition of a dusk to dawn curfew in the state, starting from 6pm to 8am with immediate effect, explaining that it was due to the fragile security situation.

Story by Edo Dogwu (edodogwu@yahoo.com)

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