YERWA EXPRESS NEWS
Borno state command of the Nigerian Police has in Maiduguri arrested persons involved in organizing the return to Bama earlier in the day.
Among the arrested were Mohammed Hassan, the leader of Bama Initiative for Development and Grema Kyari, also of the association, among others.
In a social media broadcast message, Grema said ‘Nigeria Police Force have arrested us myself and my chairman Mohammed Hassan as a result of happened today’, adding that ‘yes presently we are in force headquarters we are twelve in number’.
Earlier, the Commissioner of Police, Damian Chukwu stormed the scene of the protesters with his men to stop the planned return, noting that ‘they did not inform the command and it is the mandate of the police to protect lives and properties’.
Kashim Shettima in a statement by his spokesman, Mal. Isa Gusau earlier in Maiduguri urged the protesters to give government more time.
‘It is to the Government’s advantage if all IDPs return to their communities because their return will lessen economic burden of supporting them as displaced persons.
‘The greatest wish of Governor Kashim Shettima is the safe and dignified return of all internally displaced persons to communities and he has proved this with the manner he has been consistently committed to ongoing rebuilding of private homes, police stations, hospitals, schools, water facilities, markets, council secretariats and other essential services in communities across 15 local government areas of the State’, Gusau noted.
He further stressed that ‘Already, rebuilding is completed in some local government areas and in the case of Bama has advanced with most health facilities, schools, police stations and over 20,000 private homes already rebuilt’ but noting that ‘much as the Governor wants IDPs to return, he is also concerned about their safety’.
The statement again added that ‘Under a pilot program named The Bama Initiative, the Federal Government is currently training a special anti terrorism team of policemen and civilian JTF that will be stationed in Bama to replace soldiers that are currently there’.
‘The Governor has to ensure Bama that there is full return of civil security before IDPs can return’, Gusau added.
The command is yet to respond to inquiries made to confirm the arrests.