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Published On: Thu, Jul 17th, 2014

Youths protest bid to impeach Al-makura

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Gov-Al-makuraFrom Mohammed Yangida, Lafia

Protests yesterday broke out across most major towns of Nasarawa state, following the impeachment proceedings initiated by members of the state House of Assembly in its renewed bid to oust Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura.

Angry youths from across major towns in the state poured into the streets to register their grievance over the conduct of the Assembly, with many describing the move by the lawmakers as not in the interest of the state.

Our reporter, who monitored events across the state, reported that youths in Lafia, the state capital, early yesterday, barricaded the busy Lafia/Makurdi road, setting up bonfires and chanting anti-Assembly songs.

It took the intervention of the police who fired tear gas to disperse the angry youths before restoring normalcy was restored to the city.

Also, in a swift reaction that further helped to avert a breakdown of law and order, the Emir of Lafia, Alhaji Isa Mustapha Agwai I, dispatched several teams of town criers in vans mounted with public

address systems, pleading and warning protesters to exercise restraint.

Another of the protesting youth, Idi Umar, said the step taken by the Assembly was untimely and not in the best interest of the people of the state. “The PDP wasted 12 good years with nothing to show for it, apart from brazen display of corruption. What moral standing do they have to impeach Al-makura, who is the only governor we have ever had that is ready to work for the development of this state”, he queried.

Reports said that state Assembly complex in Lafia has since been taken over by heavily armed security agents to stave off possible destruction of the building by the angry demonstrators.

In Keffi, headquarters of Keffi local government area, the story was not different as youths protesting the impeachment move went out in their numbers.

But their attempt to demonstrate around the town was foiled by the presence of mean-looking soldiers deployed from the 177 Guards Brigade.

In Akwanga, where aggrieved persons gathered at the premises of the Akwanga local government headquarters at about 9am with the intent to move round the town in demonstration, they were barred by soldiers who barricaded the gates of the council secretariat, holding the protesters hostage for hours.

Godiya Musa, a student, who spoke with our correspondent, said armed soldiers and policemen locked the gates of the local government secretariat while the protesters were about to register their disapproval of the impeachment move, before filing out to Akwanga town for a peaceful march.

A similar protest march took place in Mararaba, a border town between Nasarawa state and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Soldiers had hectic time persuading the protesters to back off, not until they created heavy traffic jam on movements into and out of Abuja.

One of the demonstrators accused President Goodluck Jonathan to dragging Nasarawa state down the impeachment path, urging the president to focus on governing Nigeria, particularly tackling the

Boko Haram insurgency that has shown his government as incompetent.

“My advice to Goodluck is that he should focus on tackling insecurity and allow us to run our affairs in Nasarawa state”, the unnamed demonstrator was shown on Africa Independent Television (AIT) as saying.


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