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Youths go on rampage over police killing of driver for N20

Posted by The Vanguard on 2005/03/06 | Views: 616 |

Youths go on rampage over police killing of driver for N20


MAKURDI- YOUTHS in Makurdi, the Benue state capital, yesterday, went on rampage over the killing of a bus driver who allegedly refused to give N20 to the police at about 7 pm on Wednesday.

MAKURDI- YOUTHS in Makurdi, the Benue state capital, yesterday, went on rampage over the killing of a bus driver who allegedly refused to give N20 to the police at about 7 pm on Wednesday.

Sources close to the Makurdi Town Service branch of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), a pregnant woman who sat by the bus driver was hit by the police bullet but officials of the union and the police have kept mute on the name of the driver and the mobile policeman that fired the bullet.

Between 7 pm and 10 am on Thursday, the rioters pulled down the Food Basket of the Nation symbol at the Gboko roundabout, burnt down the police station at Wurukum, burnt down over ten cars and chanted war songs at the Tito Yoghurt roundabout, where the driver was killed, and blocked major roads in the town. At the Police Headquarters where our correspondent tried to confirm the incident and arrests made, some stern-looking armed policemen said the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) was not on seat. It was further gathered at the Command that the situation of lawlessness in the town had created confusion and that series of meetings were being held on what the command should do to restore the situation to normalcy.


Security Adviser to Governor George Akume, Col Edwin Jando, has appealed to the youths to be calm while the government investigated the matter. He also appealed to them not to take the law into their hands and called on the general public not to aggravate the situation. In the state capital, there was no work as no bus was found on the road. Even the school children that were taken to school earlier in the day were withdrawn.


At the Benue State University gate and Wurukum market where the youths started the protest Wednesday night, the roads were empty as there was an inch-by-inch blockade with burn fire. On Sunday, February 20, the police in Makurdi killed a 19-year old Miss Suleiyol Hiikyaa, who was given a lift in a 504 saloon car said to be driven by the son of the Chief Security Officer to Governor Akume. The police had explained that the vehicle was shot at after Mr Charles Ibanga had refused to stop at a checkpoint and went about five places in attempt to escape.


According to the PPRO, Mr Samuel Jinadu, the police became suspicious of the vehicle and the occupants due to the way and manner it moved round the town trying to escape. Two days after the incident, relations of the lady took a mock coffin to the Government House demanding for explanation as to why she was brutally killed. They also asked the government to intervene and bring the culprits to book. At the time of filing this report, business in Makurdi had completely stopped with no vehicle entering nor leaving the town. On the streets where there were roadblocks, no policeman was seen.


At Wurukum where a station was razed , our correspondent was told that some policemen who tried to scare the youths were chased away. Meanwhile, all motorcycles, buses and cars parked at the premises of the owners are carrying green leaves to indicate death of a dear one. The police who appear to be trigger-hungry are also not spared as an Inspector, Mr Solomon Ahua, was Saturday night killed at his duty post near the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi by robbers who went to snatch money from a pools house where someone had hit a jackpot and was counting the money with friends.

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