Police kill four while trying to enforce lockdown in northwest Nigeria

By Mohammed Ibrahim

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The parents of four youngsters allegedly killed by Policemen who had been deployed to enforce a stay at home order imposed in northwest Nigeria are demanding for justice.

Reports suggest that the incident took place on April 6 after some residents resisted orders to vacate a Railway local foodstuff market as part of an effort by the local government to enforce the stay at home order which eventually led to a mild protest by angry youths in the area.

The protests led to Police interference to calm both the parties down and maintain law and order, but four youths were gunned down by the Police in the incident. The parents of the victims blamed the police for using live ammunition on teenagers  who were only expressing their anger against
the vigilantes that tried to stop them from buying foodstuffs at the market.

The four victims of the alleged police brutality were Yusuf Salisu Age 22, Musa Aliyu age 30, Muhammad Sani Umar age 27 and  Abubakar Garba Age 17. Ten others have sustained gunshots are receiving treatment with seven in critical condition. One of the victim’s fathers Mr. Aliyu Balteh said his 30-year-old son Musa was hit on the chest and died hours later at the hospital”. He was not among the youths throwing stones against the police because he was at home having his bath. He only rushed out to find why people are running when the police shot him.

“ We took him to two hospitals but we were told no doctor on duty, he was confirmed dead at the 3rd hospital after losing too much blood.
All I want is justice because they {police} have no rights to shot at innocent boy,” he said.

Another parent Umar Babangida said his 27-year-old son Mohammed Sani Umar was killed around the railway market area that same day.

“ I don’t know what actually happened because I was not there when the incident happened. I only received a phone call that my son has been killed by the police,’ He said

The father who appeared to be emotional quickly added “ All I want now is justice from the authorities,”

Ten-year-old Al’amin Ibrahim who was shot twice in the chest undergone surgery at a private hospital in the community; his mother Binta Ibrahim said she only sent him to her sister’s house within the
neighborhood only for him to be hit with bullets.

“ I’m happy the bullets were removed from his chest but we couldn’t afford the money charged by the hospital which is 105 thousand naira (300 USD) for the surgery,” she said.

The State Command Public Relations officer, Mohammed Jalige said investigation has commenced on the incident which led to the lost of lives but didn’t blame the police for the killings.  He said the
command has also made some arrest who participated in the fracas at the Railway local market.

“The youth had an encounter with local JTF which led to a problem between them and we sent policemen to go and control the situation which they did successfully and returned.

” We heard lives were lost but we have made some arrest and investigation has commenced. We will inform the public of the outcome of the investigation,” he said.

The JTF commander in the Area, Muhammed Gwadabe said his men were not
responsible for the killings of the youths. “ We are only complimenting the effort of the government and that of police to enforce the lockdown order in communities but we are not allow to hold guns which means we can’t be blamed for the killings,’ he said.

As it’s,  the bereaved parents want human rights organizations to compel on the police authorities to ensure justice is done to the poor family by fishing out the perpetrators of the crime.

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