4 January 2012

Nigeria: Thugs Attack Media Trust Office in Kano

A large number of armed thugs yesterday attacked the Regional Office of the Media Trust in Kano, publishers of Daily Trust Newspapers, allegedly protesting a story published by the newspaper in which the state government was reported to have supported Federal Government's position on fuel subsidy withdrawal.

The newspaper had in its yesterday's edition, reported that the state government had at a press briefing addressed on Tuesday by the state's deputy governor, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, supported the Federal Government's measure at withdrawing fuel subsidy, calling for public understanding of the new policy. The subsidy removal had sparked up protests across the country.

The rampaging thugs had destroyed in the process, the office's transportation van and injured one of the office security guards, Malam Mukhtar Muhammad, who is receiving treatment at the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Kano.

According to an eyewitness, argument had ensued between the thugs on whether to burn just the vehicle or to set the entire compound ablaze before the police rounded them off and arrested one of them.

Production Manager of Daily Trust in Kano, Malam Suleiman Sahabi, who confirmed the story, told journalists that the thugs besieged the office premises at dawn when they got wind of the publication and made attempts to set the premises ablaze.

Sahabi further alleged that the thugs "were apparently under an instruction to destroy the premises of the company. An early intervention of the police saved the situation".

He added that one of the thugs was arrested and detained at the Kwalli Police station in Gwale Local Government Area of the state, saying that he is helping the police in their investigation.

He said the police officer providing security support to the company, Inspector Bashir had played crucial role in dispersing the thugs who came to the premises fully armed, determined to destroy the company's properties and mop up the newspapers published for the day.

While at the premises of the office complex, the thugs attempted to overpower the security guards on duty by forcing themselves into the premises and succeeded in destroying the company's van. As at the time the police routed the rampaging thugs, they had set two used motor tyres on one of the company's vehicles and began to search for petrol to set the compound ablaze.

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