Pandogari Crisis: Niger State Governor Urges Restraint

Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello
Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello

Governor of Niger State Abubakar Bello, has called on residents of Pandogari, Rafi Local Government Area, to exercise restrain over the crisis that erupted in the community.

This call was contained in a statement by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Jibrin Ndace.

Violence had erupted on Sunday, May 29, 2016 when one Methodius Emmanuel, a 24 year old trader in Pandogari was attacked and killed by a mob in the town for allegedly posting a blasphemous statement about Prophet Muhammad on the social media.

Troops of 31 Artillery Brigade of 1 Division, Nigerian Army quickly intervened and restored law and order while a dusk to dawn curfew was imposed in the town.

However the rioters regrouped on Monday, May 30, 2016 morning for another protest, leading to further violence, looting of shops and blocking of the Lagos – Kaduna Road, a major artery connecting the northern and southern parts of the country.



    But troops in conjunction with the personnel of Nigeria Police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, took control of the situation to forestall escalation of violence and any threat to the peace in the town. Regrettably, one church, one house and a shop were burnt while 25 other shops were looted following the violence. Three other persons including personnel of the NSCDC also lost their lives.

    Governor Bello expressed displeasure over the incident and called on all concerned to pursue the path of dialogue, consultation and peaceful resolution of the conflict instead of resorting to violence.

    He noted that the state is known for peace and therefore the Pandogari incident was an isolated case of civil unrest which has been professionally handled by the security agencies together with community leaders.

    The Governor added that an investigative panel has been set up to establish the cause of the crisis, and assured all citizens of the state of his administration’s determination to ensuring peace and security in the state.

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