Katsina youths protest hardship, stone officials during Buhari’s visit
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Thursday, commenced a two-day official visit to his home state of Katsina where he inaugurated some projects executed by the state government.
However, his first day in the state was marked by a protest by youths decrying the hardship in the country.
The youth staged the protest a few minutes after noon, shortly after the President inaugurated the Kofar Kaura Underpass in Katsina.
The protesters caused a commotion at the Kofar Kaura Underpass where they threw stones at the crowd after Buhari left the area.
The boys also set up bonfires along the Yahaya Madaki Way, a few metres from the underpass, while shouting: ‘We don’t need you,’ ‘We no go do,’ in Hausa.
A viral video showed a mass of youths violently denouncing the government as they engaged some policemen on the road.
The development is coming 72 hours after the Presidential standard bearer of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, was stoned by suspected hoodlums at a campaign rally in Katsina.
The thugs reportedly threw stones outside the campaign venue, damaging several vehicles.
“Our candidate had met with women in a town hall and then held a hugely successful rally at the Muhammad Dikko Stadium. However, on his way to the airport, hoodlums attacked the car our candidate was riding in with heavy stones from his driver’s side causing substantial damage to the vehicle,’’ the Head of Media, Obi/Datti Presidential Campaign Council, Diran Onifade, disclosed in a statement.
Buhari had finished the ceremony and left when the youth stormed the underpass and started shouting, ‘Bamuyi,’ ‘Bamuyi’ (We are not interested.)
They also threw stones at the convoy of state government officials departing the project site.
They were subsequently dispersed with tear gas by security personnel.
One of the youth said they were protesting the hardship in the country, adding that they wanted to draw the President’s attention to the situation.
One of the protestants declared, “ We are suffering; no job; no life…no money…”
But the spokesman for the Katsina police command, Gambo Isah, said there was no protest.
He noted, ‘’The President was neither booed nor his convoy stoned. I was part of the convoy. The President successfully inaugurated the project. We were at another inauguration when we learnt that hooligans known as kaoraye were fighting one another at Sabwa ungwa area and we went there. We arrested no fewer than 10 of them and an investigation is already going on.”
The Special Adviser to the governor on Security Matters, Ahmad Katsina, did not respond to inquiries on the youth’s actions.
Other projects inaugurated by Buhari include the remodelled General Hospital, Revenue House, Katsina Water Supply Booster Station, Kofar Kwaya Underpass, Metrology Institute of Nigeria and Darma Rice Mill.
Buhari also inspected ongoing work on the first flyover in the Government Reserved Area, which is 90 per cent completed.
He held a meeting with some elders and opinion leaders in the state inside the Banquet hall of the Government House.
Governor Aminu Masari led the leaders in the state to the meeting which also had in attendance, his deputy, Mannir Yakubu; businessmen, Dahiru Manga and Salisu Mamman; Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, as well as the All Progressives Congress governorship candidate for the state, Dr Umar Dikko Radda, among others.
He was also scheduled to pay a courtesy call on the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Faruq Umar.
In his speech, the President berated the elite for being “very selfish” rather than uniting their might for the welfare of their fellow citizens.
“Our elite did not put their heads together in the years past in order to move the country forward. They were very selfish. I insist they should think of the country more than themselves,” Buhari said at a luncheon.
According to him, the standard of living in the country would be more bearable if the elite thought more of the people.
Reminiscing about the golden era of high oil prices, the President regretted that the previous administrations did not maximise the available resources for infrastructural growth when a barrel of crude oil sold for $100.
Comparing the pre and post-2015 when he assumed office, Buhari said, “Our elite did not put their heads together in the years past in order to move the country forward. They were very selfish.
“I insist that they should think of the country more than themselves. By doing so, they can join forces for the good of the country.”
According to him, the citizens were more concerned about the results the government could provide in terms of security and the economy.
“But I can’t complain because I asked for it. I have done my best, and I hope history will be kind to me,” he said.