The police in Kano State on Tuesday foiled a planned protest by palm oil traders at Galadima area of Kano over recent attacks suffered by their colleagues in the hands of members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Enugu State.
Daily Trust gathered that two trucks fully loaded with palm oil worth over N80 million were reportedly burnt by IPOB members on Sunday at Oboloafo, Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State on their way to Kano State.
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It was further gathered that the aggrieved traders had planned to march around the town with placards, a move that was said to be capable of being infiltrated by hoodlums who would not mind damaging properties as a form of retaliation for the injustice suffered by their kinsmen.
Galadima, the location of the palm oil market is situated in Sabongari area of Kano, the residential area of most southerners in the state and just a few miles away from the popular Sabongari market where the majority of southerners in the state trade.
When contacted, Mustapha Shu’aibu Sulaiman, the Chairman, Galadima Road Traders Association confirmed the planned protest but said the leadership of the market with the support of the police was able to calm down the aggrieved traders.
“Some of these traders wanted to take laws into their hands through reprisal attacks, but because we have a police outpost in the market, I coordinated them all in the police station through the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) there.
“He (DPO) asked every one of us to write all our statements there and he advised us on the civil ways to follow. The police handled the issue very well by calming down the infuriated traders. It was even the police that advised them on the right thing to do.”
Suleiman said he took the action because he did not want the aggrieved traders to inflict harm or loss on innocent people in Kano, but added that “you know it is painful for someone to lose something this way, but thank God we have succeeded in changing their thoughts on the issue with the help of the police without the situation going out of hand.
“The goods belong to our members numbering about 50, who are mostly small businessmen. Some have just 20 jerry cans, some 50 and so on. And, most of them, that was all they had and now both the goods and the trucks have been burnt down.”
When contacted, the spokesman for the police, DSP Haruna Abdullahi Kiyawa, asked to be given time to find out from the said DPO and promised to get back. He did not do so as of the time of filing this report.