Nigeria: Military Arrests 109 As Hoodlums Defy Curfew, Wreak Havoc in Jos

26 October 2020

Jos — Hoodlums yesterday morning defied the 24-hour curfew imposed on Jos by the Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, as they still loitered around the streets of Jos, attacking and vandalising government and private properties.

THISDAY gathered that among the private properties vandalised was the house of the immediate-past Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara, located near Jos University Teaching Hospital at about 10a.m. yesterday.

Sources said the hoodlums, in their large number, broke into the house, attacked everyone, including Dogara's brother, before carting away their loots.

The warehouse of Manufacturer Delivery Services (MDS), an affiliate of United African Company (UAC), located along Murtala Mohammed way, where many multinational companies stocked their goods, was also vandalised.

Also attacked by the hoodlums was Plateau Agricultural Development Programme (PADP) at Dogon Dutse. Bags of fertilizer and other farm inputs were also looted.

They also extended their attack on the warehouses of the National and State Emergency Management Agency (NEMA and SEMA), looting away foodstuffs and other items stored therein. The looters, who broke into the buildings in search of palliatives, destroyed properties, and carted away some valuables.

They also vandalised the state secretariat, state water board and other government properties and made away with loots.

But for the intervention of security agents, the hoodlums wanted to bring down the Federal Secretariat. They had gathered in front of the secretariat before they were dispersed.

The state Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and an editor with the Nigerian Standard Newspaper, Mr. Paul Jatau, told journalists that the hoodlums destroyed the building and vehicles belonging to members of staff of the company.

Jatau was, however, thankful that the staff of the newspaper house escaped with their lives, saying the prompt intervention of the security agencies saved them.

Appealing to the youths for calm, the General Overseer of Evangelical Bible Outreach Ministries International (EBOMI), Prophet Isa El-Buba, urged the youths to desist from looting and destroying public properties.

He warned them to refuse to be used as tools by some vested interest to destroy their country.

El Buba also called on the federal government to work and ensure that normalcy is returned to the country immediately, asking the government to hold a dialogue with the irate youths to end the crisis.

Also, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Ahmed Idris Wase, has appealed to the youths to be calm over the #EndSARS protests, and not to take laws into their hands.

In a statement issued yesterday morning by his Chief Press Secretary, Umar Mohammed Puma, Wase urged the youths to give peace a chance, saying the federal and state governments and the National Assembly will do everything within their powers to ensure that their demands in the protests are met.

Meanwhile, the Military Taskforce in Jos (Operation Safe Haven) yesterday paraded 109 persons suspected to have participated in the invasion of a warehouse in the Plateau State Agricultural Development Programme (PADP) in the early hours of yesterday.

Commander of the taskforce, Major Gen. Chukwuemeka Okonkwo, who paraded the suspects at the headquarters of the command in Jos, said the suspects were arrested with items looted from the PADP warehouse.

According to the commander, the suspects destroyed the warehouse and stole fertilizers, chemicals, generators, and other farming items.

The suspects that are made up of 97 males and 12 females, the commander said, would be prosecuted.

Also, former Minister of FCT and PDP governorship candidate in the state in the last general election, Lt General Jeremiah Useni (rtd), has appealed for calm, noting that: "These actions can dent and diminish the genuine agitations for justice that triggered the #EndSARS protests nationwide."

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