Leadership (Abuja)

16 September 2013

Nigeria: Killing of Civilian JTF Causes Riot in Maiduguri

There was pandemonium in Maiduguri yesterday as youths took to the streets to protest the alleged killing of a member of the Civilian JTF by a trigger happy policeman.

The member of Civilian JTF, according to thousands of irate youth who took to the streets chanting, "police is Boko Haram", was shot dead by a policeman on patrol along the popular Kano road.

The protest caused traffic gridlock along the major roads for some hours as the Civilian JTF aided by other youths in the town barricaded the road, burning tyres and wielding dangerous weapons.

The irate youths were also seen trying to raze the state police headquarters but were chased away by the soldiers who assisted the policemen on duty.

A witness told reporters that many policemen were beaten up by the youths who went in search of any person in police uniform.

Another youth, who spoke to newsmen, alleged that they were on their way from where they went to arrest some suspected Boko Haram members and were about to hand them over to a military post opposite the Borno Express Transport when they were confronted by two policemen who accused them of violating traffic law driving against the traffic.

He said that in the ensuing argument one of the policemen threatened to shoot one of them and the youth dared him to shoot him, then he pulled the trigger.

It was gathered that the policemen took to their heels after realising that they have killed the deceased but one of them was lynched.

The convoy of the governor who ran into the irate youth was equally stopped for about 40 minutes.

The governor had to come down to address the youth, promising to address their grievances before he was allowed passage.

Addressing some youth at the Government House, Governor Kashim Shettima who was saddened by the incident commiserated with the family of the deceased and promised to pay them a compensation of N3.5 million.

He also said that he would personally attend the burial of the youth while tendering apology to the Civilian JTF.

"We are going to do every thing possible to regain the confidence of the youths, they have done a lot in restoring peace to the state," Shettima said.

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