By Danladi Al-Hassan
The protesting youths of Kagara in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, on Thursday, have expressed their strong misgiving over incessant attacks on their communities by armed bandits.
However, the protest took a violent dimension when the youths attacked officials of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), who were in the area to distribute relief materials.
Ibrahim Inga, NSEMA boss, and other officials of the agency had in compliance to the governor’s directives, gone to Kagara to distribute the materials to those displaced by the banditry activities in the area when they were attacked by the angry youths.
The youths from Kagara and other neighbouring communities had since Wednesday taken over some major highways in the town to protest what they called “incessant” armed bandits attacks in the area in the last one month.
The placard-carrying youths chanted anti-government slogan and blocked the major highway leading to Brinin Gwari in Kaduna State.
The youths in their hundreds, condemned the state government for its insensitivity to the plight of the people, especially women and children who were among the displaced.
One of the youths, Isah Ibrahim, lamented the condition of the displaced people who according to him were in dare need of food, water and other basic things.
However, on Thursday, the protest assumed a violent dimension as the youths held the officials of NSEMA hostage, seized all the relief materials and destroyed them.
The protesting youths told the officials that what they need is the security of their lives and property and not relief materials.
The NSEMA officials, accompanied by the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of operations made a retreat when all appeals fell on deaf ears.
However, Inga denied being held hostage but said that the people rejected the relief materials.