Fear and tension are high in Tafawa Balewa in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of Bauchi State on Thursday as residents, including women and youths, took to the street to protest against the planned 21st memorial anniversary of the late Sayawa nation leader and crusader, Baba Peter Gonto.
It was gathered despite the presence of security personnel deployed in the town to forestall any breakdown of law and order, the people still protested against the anniversary, singing different songs to show their disapproval for the event scheduled for tomorrow, December 31.
The protesters, it was learnt, are against the planned event on the ground that it would rather divide the Sayawa people than unite them, which they claimed was not what the late Gonto stood for throughout his lifetime.
An unconfirmed report indicated that the peaceful protest later degenerated into violence as some people were alleged to have attacked some of the protesters, leading to the death of three persons with many injured in the ensuing melee.
DAILY POST reports that the member representing Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, had written a letter to the Inspector-General of Police, seeking the intervention of the police against the memorial.
Dogara, who is the immediate past Speaker of the House, claimed security concerns for being against holding the event, which he stated could lead to crisis in the area.
Some groups among the Sayawa people, however, debunked the former speaker’s claim, saying that the late Gonto was in the forefront of emancipation of Zaar land from every form of slavery and stood for the unity of Sayawa people.
Efforts made to get the reaction of the Bauchi State Police Command as of the time of filing this report were unsuccessful.