By Laleye Dipo
The protest against insecurity in the northern part of the country recorded a low turnout in Minna, Niger state on Thursday as only few people took part in the protest on its first day.
The protest was organised by the Coalition of Northern Groups in what observers described as reaction to the #EndSARS and #EndSWAT demonstrations taking place in some southern states of the country and Abuja, the federal capital territory.
The protesters not more than 20 assembled at the Minna city gate where they sang and danced for a few minutes before moving to the Nigerian Union of Journalists state secretariat where they presented their demands to the Council Secretary Malam Abu Nmodu.
They carried placards with such inscriptions as “End kidnapping”, “All lives matters” ,”End banditry, “Fix our roads” and “stop killings in the North and Nigeria”
The Coordinator of the group Malam Abubakar Mohammed said the youths were fed up with the high level of insecurity in the state and most northern states of the country.
” As a result of insecurity many people have lost their lives, businesses are stranded and nobody can go to other parts of the state to do business again. Farmers can no longer go to their farms for fear of being killed by bandits
” The Nigeria Police saddled with the responsibility of protecting lives and property of the people should be trained and retrained so that this menace will be reduced to the barest minimum,” Mohammed said.
The Coordinator said the group had engaged stakeholders on the problem of insecurity adding they (stakeholders) have promised to look into the matter but charged the federal and state governments in the region to act fast so as to bring respite to the people.
Mohammed also said that another problem facing the people of Niger state is poor electricity supply by the Abuja Electricity Development Company lamenting that the situation has forced small scale businesses to close down.
“This is unacceptable, businesses are dying on a daily basis here, people are losing their jobs no small industries can perform magic with four hours of electricity supply, If Abuja Electricity Distribution Company AEDC, cannot give us enough light, let them pack and leave the state,” the coordinator warned
He also called on the federal and state governments to fix the roads across the country to lessen the burden on road users.
Addressing the protesters, the NUJ state Secretary Malam Abu Nmodu commended them for their peaceful conduct saying what Nigeria needs most now is peace.
Nmodu assured the protesters that Journalists were for everybody as such their requests will be presented to the whole world.