From Citizen Reporter, Kano
The rage and fury that trailed the brutal killings of defenceless protesters on subsidy removal may be the reason why authorities in Kano hastely imposed a curfew to restrict movement inorder to onstensibily forstall further security breach and possible retaliation. Governor Kwankwaso was visibly shaken and surprised at the level of anger displayed by the protetsers that cut across party and religous lines. The protest organised by labour and civil society organisations attracted an unprecedented mammoth crowd who expressed their justified anger at President Jonathan’s ill-timed fuel subsidy removal and Kwankwaso’s arrogant support of the highly unpopular policy.
Though government was well aware of a possible fall out of its reckless display of solidarity with Federal Government’s removal of the subsidy, it however did not anticipate the fury that follows on Monday the 9th, when all strata of people trooped out to condemn Governor Kwankwaso and President Jonathan. On that fateful day, not less than 7 youths were reported to have been murdered by agents of the state. This came at the heel of January5th incident when students who converged at Silver Jubilee Square (renamed it Liberation Square) were butalised by the combined forces of Kano State Police and the government sponsored thugs known as vigilantes in a pre-dawn assault. One student lost his life even though government and the police kept denying. The peaceful protesters were said to be beaten with cudgels and gun butts by the police while a van belonging to the vigilantes and bearing Kano State registeration number rammed into the students, inflicting severe injuries on the protesters resulting into the death of one of the protesters. The government’s inhuman display of brute force infuriates the citizens.
Thus the demonstrations of Monday provides amful opportunity for the citizens to castigate Kwankwaso and his wicked disregard of their welfare by openly backing the subsidy removal. The protests were peaceful from the onset as organisers made sure that participants conducts themelves in a peaceful manner. However, appearing on the scene by the much maligned vigilantes started to provoke the demonstrators who acknowledged the illegal and unlawful participation of the government thugs in law enforcement. Alot of people were questioning the rationale of engaging these thugs in maitaining security while Civil Defence Corps and state Hisbah Corps, all recognised by law were relegated to background. The vigilantes also reminds people of their despicable act when they drove through a peaceful crowd resulting into injuries and death. They were therfore an eye sore to the protesters and some started to jeer at them.
Meanwhile, the procession heads towards the Government House and a column of these government thugs can be seen forming a barricade at the front of the government house ostensibily to prevent the protesters reaching the gates. The streets leading to government house from State Road and adjoining Commissioner road were equally barricaded by these thugs. And they started using their cudgelis and machets at the protesters while police were looking on from behind. A melieu ensued and some of the protesters started retaliating by throwing stones at the vigilante thugs and the police. The police responded by firing cannisters of tear gas and firing into the air. This, instead of scaring the undaunting protesters made those at the back surge forward on hearing gun shots shouting “Ba mayi, Kwankwaso kaci amana” meaning: “We no longer support you, Kwankwaso the traitor.” The crowd kept surging forward and the police started shooting live bullets into the crowd. On seeing the bloodied body of victims been evacuated to the hospital, the crowd went wild even overpowering the police at one stage and pulling down a side of the Government House fence, and burning the Cabinet Office adjacent to the government house including several vehicles parked within the premises. Some vehicles belonging to the vigilantes were also touched and some said some of the thugs were also dealt with. The police had to call for reinforcement and military were also invited to disperse the crowd. Governor Kwankwaso had to be smuggled from behind, seeing how dangerous it could be if the furious crowd gained an entrance into the Government House.
News of happenings especialyy of government’s bruatality spread fast and alot of people were heard expressing their anger at Governor Kwankwaso in particular for ordering the killings of defenceless protesters while exercising one of their fundamental rights. The protesters retreated to regroup and started damaging street lights and in the process set ablaze the residence of Senataor Bashir Garba Lado ( PDP Kano central) in the process. He is a major financier of the Kwankwasiyya thugs and his house is situated at Gumel Road by Durbin Katsina Road.
Kwankwaso and his handlers sensing that their worst political perdition looms, started to hatch a plan that could save their sinking necks. They started to find scape goats and Shekarau and CPC were their ready tools. They were reported to have started mobilising their thugs to also retaliaite by targetting some selected ANPP and CPC stalwarts, especially Shekarau and Mohammed Abacha in order to create a political colouration to the whole crises. The security came to know of the devilish plan and IG Hafiz Ringim reportedly intervened by instructing the Kano Commissioner of Police to impose the curfew in order to avert further chaos. It now remain to be seen how Kwankwaso would appear in public having inadvertently eroded any goodwill he might have by pitching his tent with the Federal Government, thus effectively sending the message that he is indeed an enemy of the Kano masses.