By Habibu Harisu, Sokoto.
Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State on Saturday imposed 24-hour curfew on the Sokoto metropolis, to contain the rising protests across township streets.
The governor, in a broadcast, called on the people to remain indoors, as security operatives were being deployed to safeguard lives and properties.
The protests were triggered by the fallout of the lynching of Deborah Yakubu, a student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, by a mob of students over alleged blasphemy and the arrest of two persons in connection with the killing
Tambuwal said: “By the powers conferred on me by Sections 176(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Sections 1 and 4 of the Public Order Act; and also Section 15 of Sokoto State Peace Preservation Law; I hereby declare, with immediate effect, a curfew within (Sokoto) metropolis for the next 24 hours.”
He appealed to the people of the state to continue to observe law and order, while calming down the restiveness currently pervading in the metropolis.
“Everyone should please, in the interest of peace, go back home and observe this measures, to re-establish peace, law and order in the state.
“It is not in the interest of anyone for us to have a breakdown of law and order. I, therefore, appeal for restraint and for people to observe and respect the rule of law,” he said.
Groups of youths have taken over the streets, chanting songs and clamouring for the release of those arrested by the security agents.
The protesters burnt tyres on Ahmadu Bello Way, Emir Yahaya Road, Kanwuri Road and other streets, forcing shop owners to close midday, while most streets became deserted.
The Sultan of Sokoto’s Palace also came under siege by the protesters.
A combined team of security men, led by the Commissioner of Police in Sokoto State. Kamaludden Okunlola, was promptly stationed at the palace, as protesters threw stones and attempted to attack the palace.
All the religious centres were also under tight security.
Gov. Tambuwal had held meetings with security chiefs, leader of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Nuhu Iliya and Muslim leaders on Thursday, to prevent the situation from degenerating into a state of anarchy.