By Hamza Suleiman
Some residents of Shagari Low-cost Housing in Maiduguri on Saturday staged a peaceful protest against what they described as ‘increase in criminal activities’.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the demonstration followed the killing of one Mr Aga Citi, the Vice-Chairman of Timber Sellers Association, in the state.
The victim was allegedly murdered in cold blood by unknown gunmen in the estate on March 10, at about 8.15 p.m.
The protesters demanded immediate closure of “Kasuwan Fara,” a commercial joint known to be habouring drug peddlers, commercial sex workers and other nefarious activities.
One of the protesters, Mr Felix Samuel, lamented that the rate of crime had triggered fear amongst the residents of the area.
Samuel said that Citi was killed as he parked his car at the commercial area to buy fast food at a joint.
“When you come to Shagari Low-cost in the evening, you will see many prostitutes and youths from different parts of Maiduguri engaging in all sorts of anti-social activities. It is no longer news that people are being attacked on daily basis,” he said.
Malam Kabiru Musa, another resident, who expressed worry over the increasing rate of crime in the area, called for urgent measures to address the menace.
“We are appealing to Gov. Babagana Zulum to come to our aid as we can no longer sleep with our two eyes closed,” said Musa.
“The reality is that day in day out, we are being attacked, we are being killed. Our houses are being robbed.
“The other day, a lady who was intoxicated wiyh psychotropic substances was murdered in a hotel after being raped by unknown individuals.
“Another lady was murdered by another man in one of the hotels here in Shagari Low-cost after picking her for a short time,” he regreted.
He noted that the commercial market, popularly called ‘Kasuwan fara’, was breeding all sorts of criminals which the government must tackle.
On his part, Mr Idris Wada, another protester, said the Borno Government had banned all brothels and other spots activities where prostitution, immoral activities, sale and consumption of illicit drugs take place since 2017, but these activities had continued unabated.
Wada said while notorious brothels in Galadima, Artillery, Gamboru, Wulari, Hot Bite, Baga Road, Mairi and London Ciki were shut down, most of the activities had surfaced in Shagari Low-cost.
“Between last year and this year, residents in this area found seven abandoned babies thrown away by unknown persons,” he said.
Malam Mustapha Isa, another protester, was worried that the recurring criminal activities would result in devastating consequences on the general populace, if allowed to continue unchecked.
He also called on the Borno government, the Police and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency to intensify the fight against criminals and drug abuse to protect the society and safeguard the health of the people.
NAN recalls that the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Abdu Umar, had mobilised his men and other patrol teams to the area to investigate the killing of Citi.
While calling for calm, Umar said the police had commenced discreet investigation in order to fish out and prosecute the perpetrators.
The police boss also promised to fish out criminals and those unleashing terror against peaceful citizens in the state.
Umar assured residents that he would deliver their message to the governor to facilitate immediate action over the concerns raised.
He reiterated commitment of the Police force toward protection of lives and properties, urging the people to report any suspicious activity to the nearest security outfit for prompt action.