The Bauchi State Commissioner of Police, Umar Mamman Sanda, has deployed police operatives to Bogoro, the headquarters of Bogoro Local Government Area of the state ahead of the 21st memorial anniversary of the late Sayawa nation crusader, Baba Peter Gonto.
This is even as hundreds of Sayawa youths staged a peaceful protest in Tafawa Balewa town against the holding of the anniversary, which holds on 30th-31st December, alleging insecurity that may lead to a breach of peace in the area.
A release signed on behalf of the CP by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, SP Ahmed Mohammed Wakil, informed that the deployment of the tactical teams was the result of a letter of notification sent by the Zaar community to the police boss.
He said the commissioners ordered the officers and men of the command to intensify efforts in resisting and curtailing any act of lawlessness, oppression or intimidation from any group of persons.
They were, however, warned to be professional while discharging their duties.
Wakil said, “Sequel to the letter of notification sent by the Zaar community to the Commissioner of Police, Bauchi State Command to celebrate the 21st anniversary in honour of late Baba Peter Gonto scheduled to hold on 30th and 31st December 2021 at Bogoro township, the Commissioner of Police, CP Umar Mamman Sanda fdc, psc, mnim, has ordered the full deployment of Police tactical teams to provide security to lives and properties before, during and after the event.
“He consequently ordered officers and men of the Command to intensify efforts in resisting and curtailing any act of lawlessness, oppression or intimidation from any group of persons and warned officers to be professional while discharging their duties.”
He then warned the people of Bogoro and Tafawa Balewa Local Government Areas to go about their businesses as well as stay away from all forms of crimes.
“The Command, therefore, wishes to urge law-abiding citizens of the state particularly, the people of Bogoro/ Tafawa Balewa Local Governments not to panic but go about their normal businesses and stay away from all forms of crime and criminality,” Wakil warned.
But, Sayawa youths led by National Leader, Zaar Youth Development Association (ZAYODA), Galla Daniel, had on Tuesday staged a protest in Tafawa Balewa town against the planned anniversary celebration.
The protesting youth carried placards with various inscriptions like, “Nobody is dividing Za’ar land”; “No to evil plan”; “Baba Gonto is a freedom fighter for all”; “Go back to Shendam”; “Say no to divide and rule”; “Baba Gonto anniversary, Rest in Peace”, among others, to drive home their position.
Speaking with journalists, Daniel alleged that the organisers of the event deliberately excluded some prominent sons and daughters of Zaar land, which he said was already breeding hatred and disunity in the area.
According to him, going by reactions from different quarters on social media on the scheduled anniversary, there were possibilities of a breach of the peace if the event was allowed to hold.
He said Zaar youths have rejected the event in totality, foreseeing a great crisis and disunity among the people.
“We reiterate with a loud voice that we reject in totality the event as we foresee a great crisis and disunity in the land from the programme based on the desperation of the organisers,” he said.
While saying that the organisers of the event be held responsible for any breach of peace in the area in the course of holding the event, Daniel claimed that the organisers should be made to sign an undertaking with the security agencies as it is the custom during Zaar annual festival.
The ZAYODA youths leader asserted that though the event is a historic one, which no one is against, considering the late Gonto’s immense role in the unity of Zaar people during his lifetime, the security of lives and property should be taken into consideration first.