7 February 2013

Nigeria: JTF Fires Shots Over Protesting Women

Maiduguri — Hundreds of protesting women drew fire from men of the JTF in Maiduguri on Wednesday morning when after calls asking them to disperse fell on deaf ears.

The women had taken to the streets after a session on civil-military relations, sources told Daily Trust.

A representative of the Chief of Defense Staff from Abuja had held a session with the women at Ramat Square. A similar session with Bulamas (religious leaders) and traditional rulers was also held at the multi-purpose hall of the Government House.

The women had allegedly been misinformed about the purpose of the meeting, believing that their detained spouses were going to be released after the session.

When this did not happen, the women took to the streets, disrupting commercial activities around the Post Office area, Maiduguri's commercial nerve centre, the source said.

A Daily Trust reporter who tried to take pictures of the protest was manhandled and prevented from doing his job by security agents.

After attempts to calm the women failed, men of the JTF fired shots into the air.

The women eventually dispersed after they were addressed by a JTF officer, Lt. Col. D. R. Hassan, who assured them that a committee would be set up to identify and recommend the release of men who were arrested wrongly as well as recommend those who were guilty for prosecution.

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