The alleged killing of a member of the youth vigilante group by a policeman in Maiduguri, BornoState on Saturday sparked protests from hundreds of people in the city.
According to the account of the vigilante group, the shooting occured as members were returning from a trip made to some Boko Haram identified quarters where they were to arrest some suspected insurgents and hand them over to a military post opposite the Borno Express Transport Company.
According to the youths, they were confronted by two policemen along the popular Kano road who accused them of violating traffic law by driving against the traffic and as the arguments dragged, one of the policemen threatened to shoot and subsequently pulled the trigger.
Realising what he had killed the young man, the trigger happy officer ran for his life but his colleague was attacked by the angry vigilante group.
Afterwards, members of the group, popularly called the Civilian JTF, along with other youths inMaiduguri took to the streets chanting “police is Boko Haram”.
The protest caused traffic gridlock along the major roads for hours as the youths barricaded roads, burning tyres and wielding dangerous weapons to scare off motorists.
They also tried unsuccessfully to raze down the state police headquarters as they were prevented by soldiers who came to the assistance of the policemen on duty.
The governor of the State, Kashim Shettima, whose convoy ran into the protest, appealed to the youths to keep the peace, promising to address their grievances.
Speaking to some youths later at the government house, Shettima who said he was sadden by the incident commiserated with the family of the deceased and promised to pay them a compensation of N3.5 million.
He also promised to personally attend the burial of the youth whose v life was cut short, as a way of regaining their confidence.
The Civilian JTF is a voluntary group of youths who have decided to team up with security men in the state to fish out members of the notorious Boko Haram sect, in order to restore peace to the state.