Two persons allegedly killed by Nigeria Army during a protest by youths against three months curfew imposed on their community in Sanga Local Government Area of Southern Kaduna have been buried, according to Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU)
Those killed included Emmanuel Nuhu 20, a 200 level student of Kaduna State College of Education, Gidan Waya and his married cousin, Tina Julius 34, mother of four children, were buried in their separate compound homes after a grim funeral service at the 1st ECWA Church, Fadan Karshi, Sanga Local Government Area in Southern part of Kaduna State, according to a statement by the organisation.
The statement issued and made available to journalists in Kaduna on Thursday by the union stated that the two were shot dead last Sunday (October 11, 2020) by armed personnel of Operation Safe Haven (OpSH) during a peaceful demonstration staged by the youths of the town against an unofficial curfew imposed on the town by OpSH, made up of the military and paramilitary personnel, since June 2020.
Signed by the national public relations officer of SOKAPU Mr, Luka Binniyat, the statement disclosed that those killed were buried on October 14, 2020, by the community.
SOKAPU pointed out that “findings showed that the curfew was enforced with severe brutality that spared not even elderly and respectable members of the small town who found themselves outside only during the 6 pm-6 am curfew hours. Yet, there had been no case of any breach of public peace in Fadan Karshi for years now.
“Fadan Karshi, a busy junction town with high commercial activities, has been greatly affected by the three and half months curfew and some residents have had to leave the town out of frustration and fear.
“It was based on the negative consequences of the over three months curfew that youths of the town staged a peaceful protest to the palace of the District Head of Fadan Karshi, Very Reverend (Dr.) Joel Galadima (retired), last Sunday afternoon, calling on him to appeal to Operation Safe Haven, stationed in the area to lift the curfew.
“Our investigation showed that about a week earlier, Emmanuel Nuhu was severely brutalised by soldiers of the OpSH during a misunderstanding between him and some other person, after which his dad, a poor farmer, who is hardly literate, treated his son of the injuries he sustained and left the rest to God, as narrated to SOKAPU.
According to SOKAPU, when the OpSH arrived at the scene of the peaceful demonstration, a soldier (who residents said is notorious for his brutality and can identify him any time) sighted Emmanuel Nuhu. He cocked his gun and fired at the armless youth.
“The bullet hit him, but he managed to dash to the nearest wall. Before he could scale the wall, another shot got him on the leg as the youths scampered into safety in panic.
“Tina Julius, on seeing that her cousin was shot, started screaming hysterically. This seemed to have irritated another armed OpSH personnel (a mobile policeman) who also cocked his gun and shot the mother of four children in the head, and she died on the spot.
“Meanwhile, the soldier that had earlier shot Nuhu followed him into the compound of late Silas Jamu ( over whose wall he had jumped into) and found him helpless in the pool of his blood, reshot him in the heart and finished him up. The OpSH team then left.”
The union further stated that “after their grisly murder, the youths became livid and became violent. They burnt down the palace of the district head and a police vehicle and mounted roadblocks in anger, which SOKAPU does not support.
“When SOKAPU reached out to Sector Commander of Operation Safe Haven in charge of the area, one Major Ezeigbo denied that a curfew was imposed over Fadan Karshi.
According to SOKAPU, the sector commander said that the town was a fertile ground for criminals and that there were more criminals among the youths of the town than good ones.
“He said that the demonstration by the youths was violent and that they attacked his men and even injured some. He said that the youths were armed and were firing at his men from behind. He denied that Emmanuel Nuhu was chased into a compound and finally shot dead. He said that Nuhu was shot at the scene of the demonstration.
“On the killing of Tina, he said he didn’t know how she got shot. But when the incident was getting ugly, he ordered his men out, according to him.
“SOKAPU wants to make it unequivocally clear that we appreciate and acknowledge the excellent and risky work that officers and Men of OpSH, under the command of Major General Chukwu Emeka, are doing to secure Southern Kaduna.
“And we have always mobilised for its support from all our communities. But he must rein on his troops to stop the use of crude and brute force on our already traumatised communities.”