Angry youths from Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State yesterday stormed the Government House and the palace of the Emir of Katsina with the corpses of 18 victims of bandit attack.
The protesters, who were many in number, rode on motorcycles and five vehicles, accused the security agents deployed to their communities of failure to protect them.
They said the vigilantes in the area, also known as civilian JTF “are performing far better than the conventional security men in the area.”
Daily Trust reports that trouble started in Yar Gamji village of Batsari LG when many bandits riding on motorcycles killed some farmers early Tuesday morning as they cleared their farms in preparation for farming activities after a midnight rainfall.
The residents said they called for help but no security personnel came to their aid in time.
After the attack, according to the locals, a police van arrived at the village, evacuated the corpses and brought them to the palace of the District Head of Ruma.
This angered the youth in the area, who went on a violent protest. The rampaging youth later mobilized and headed to the council’s Divisional Police Headquarters, but were pushed back by the policemen.
Three members of the mob were reportedly shot in the process. This further infuriated the youth and they decided to take the corpses to the state capital to continue with their protest.
Speaking at the Government House beside the corpses, the spokesman of the protesters Aminu Rumah said their action was to draw attention to the ongoing killings and maiming in their localities and to demand proper security protection against bandits.
Governor Aminu Bello Masari said his administration is greatly concerned over the incessant activities of bandits.
He, however, called for calm, assuring the protesters that the government is working round the clock to address the situation.
He said the peaceful protest is acceptable but some miscreants may take advantage to cause mischief.
According to him, his recent appointment as the chair of the security committee of the Northern governors is another step taken to see that banditry is checked accordingly.
“We are evolving viable ways to meet the president to address it squarely,” he said. Earlier at the palace, the emir Abdulmumini Kabir Usman expressed shock over the incidence and prayed for the repose of the soul of the deceased.