The female suspects
‘Police arrested the initiator of the protest, one 30 years Aisha Jibrin; Fatima Aliyu, 57 years; Fatima Isyaku, 43 years; all of Soje ‘A’ of Kpakungu area of Minna and 22 other miscreants’
By Mohammed Usman
The male suspects.
The Nigerian Police Command in Niger State has arrested 25 suspects including three women over the food scarcity and insecurity protest that rocked the state on Monday morning.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Wasiu A. Abiodun, made the disclosure in a statement issued on behalf of the Commissioner of Police, Niger State.
He confirmed that the alleged initiator of the protest, the 30-years-old Aisha Jibrin, and 24 others were in the Police custody for offences relating to the protest.
He further disclosed that efforts made by the police to persuade the protesters to end the siege proved abortive.
His words: “The Command drafted Police patrol teams led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations, to the scene, and after much persuasions, the protesters refused to clear the road for public use.
“The Deputy Governor of Niger State, Comrade Yakubu Garba, equally availed himself at the scene and addressed the group, yet they turned deaf ears and chose to be violent.”
He added that the police decided to adopt minimum force to disperse the protesters who turned violent by attacking the Police with dangerous weapons such as stones, bottles, sticks and cutlasses leading to the damage of patrol vehicles and parts of the Kpakungu Division roof.
“Police arrested the initiator of the protest, one 30 years Aisha Jibrin; Fatima Aliyu, 57 years; Fatima Isyaku, 43 years; all of Soje ‘A’ of Kpakungu area of Minna and 22 other miscreants with dangerous weapons”, he said.
Items recovered from the protesters, according to him, include: One bench and a stick used as barricade, three knives, one scissors, one cutlass, one saw blade, one iron pipe, four sticks, two wraps of Indian hemp and assorted charms.
Aisha, according to him, claimed that she was not aware that her action was illegal by mobilizing the women for the peaceful protest which was later hijacked by miscreants in the area to block the highway.
Meanwhile, all the suspects had been taken to SCID Minna for further investigation and they will be charged to Court after arrest of others identified to have participated in the violent protest.