Armed thugs have disrupted a peaceful protest tagged #EndInsecurityNow by youth groups of the 19 Northern states in Kano.
The protest, which on Thursday saw hundreds of youths carrying a banner and placards calling on the Nigerian authorities to end banditry, Boko Haram and rape in the region, started from Kabuga heading towards the BUK old site where they were attacked by armed thugs with cutlasses and other dangerous weapons.
Though no life was lost, it was confirmed that several persons received injuries of varying degrees including journalists present there.
Thousands of youth across the country have in the last one week been protesting against the harassment and extrajudicial killings perpetrated mainly by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force.
The police authorities have since disbanded the unit and announced the Special Weapons and Tactics unit as its replacement.
Aliyu Samba, a journalist with Kannywood TV, was injured at the scene and told newsmen that policemen were present while they were being lynched by thugs.
He said, “We started the protest from Kabuga and were moving peacefully towards BUK old site. There were policemen behind and around us as the protest moved on.
“I was in the front making livestream coverage on social media. All of a sudden I heard noise of people coming from behind my back. Immediately I turned round I saw thugs carrying machetes and metals who immediately started hitting us.
“They disrupted and scattered the protest. They seized the protest banner and neatly folded it. They charged at me and beat me up and seized my phone. I summoned courage to get my phone back while they continued to beat me.
“The police were standing by the side watching. No thug was arrested. It was merely a protest calling on the government to stop banditry and incessant killings in the North as well as rape,” he said.
Another journalist, Abba Gwale of Leadership Newspaper, also a victim of the attack by thugs, said the hoodlums brought the busy way to a standstill as they struck and injured protesters.
“I was there to cover the event which started at Kabuga towards the BUK old site. Before we reached Kofar Fanfo, thugs appeared from nowhere carrying machetes, metals, and stones. They dispersed everybody and brought a busy way to a standstill. One of the thugs hit me on the hand with metal and I am seriously injured. No life was lost but several people were injured,” Gwale stated.