© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Displaced Gwoza Residents Threaten To Relocate To Cameroon
Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri
Some residents of Gwoza, Borno State who have now become destitute and homeless following repeated attacks by terrorists embarked on a street procession on Saturday in their hundreds to protest their situation and their seeming abandonment by the state and federal governments.
The protesters, most of whom are now internally displaced persons, IDPs, defied restrictions by security officials and marched their way to Government House, Maiduguri, with placards reading, “We are leaving for Cameroon,” “Nigeria does not care for us,” and “We are killed, our houses burnt and left to suffer like orphans,” among others.
It was gathered that while trying to bar the protesters from gaining entrance to the Government House, a trigger-happy policeman allegedly shot a young man who was later rushed to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital and is said to be critical condition.
Undaunted by the attempts by the security officers to stop the protest, the residents continued to the Government House, where they eventually lodged their complaints to the deputy governor, Zannah Mustapha.
They told the deputy governor that recent attacks have forced many residents of the town to live in bushes and on mountain tops, as most of their houses have been burnt down, including the palace of the Emir of Gwoza and that they have been left to bear the burden all by themselves, without any form of assistance from the government.
The deputy governor assured the protesters that their complaints would be looked into with a view to offering assistance to them.
However, the Borno State Police Command has insisted that all manner of protests and rallies in Borno remains banned until the security situation improves and urged residents to comply with the directive.
“It has come to the notice of Borno State Police Command that some group of persons are intending to embark on demonstrations anchored on the current security situation in the state. Members of the general public are being reminded that they are under obligation to obey the state of emergency imposed. All law abiding citizens are therefore assured and guaranteed of protection while they go about their lawful businesses. Such intending demonstrations are capable of causing disharmony, anarchy and pandemonium,” a statement from the command read.