Bauchi memorial lecture holds today, tension grows over Dogara’s warning

Despite the division in the Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro local government areas of Bauchi State over the planned 21st memorial anniversary of the late leader of the Sayawa people, Peter Gonto, the event will still hold.

As a result, the state Commissioner of Police, Umar Sanda, has ordered the deployment of police tactical teams to provide security to lives and properties before, during and after the event.

The 21st memorial anniversary of Gonto scheduled to take hold on Thursday (today) and Friday, has caused division among the Sayawa people.

The PUNCH had reported that a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, had written to the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, that the event should not be allowed to hold over security threats in the area.

Some youths from the Bogoro Local Government Area, under the aegis of Concerned Mwari Youth Forum, at a press conference on Monday, said the claim of security threat in the area by Dogara was untrue.

They insisted that the event being organised to honour the leader of the Sayawa people and grandfather to Dogara’s wife, Gonto, would hold as scheduled.

However, another group, Mwari Youth Development Association, also addressed journalists at a press conference and rejected the planned event.

According to them, if the event is allowed to hold, it will divide the Sayawa people and cause a breakdown of security in the area.

The Deputy President of the group, Zakka Faruk, said,”We reiterate in a loud voice that we reject in totality the event as we foresee a great crisis and disunity in the land from a programme based on the desperation of the organisers.

“We unequivocally state that the organisers should be held responsible for any breach of peace that may occur in Zaar land as a result of the event.”

However, the state police command has given approval for the event to hold.

The command’s Public Relations Officer, Ahmed Wakil, said in a statement made available to journalists on Wednesday that the CP had deployed security operatives to ensure that the event took place without any hindrance.

The statement titled, ‘CP deploys operatives ahead of the book launch and 21st anniversary of late Baba Peter Gonto’, enjoined law-abiding citizens not to panic, but go about their activities and stay away from crime.

The statement read in part, “Sequel to the letter of notification sent by the Zaar community to the Commissioner of Police, Bauchi State Command, to celebrate the 21st anniversary in honour of late Baba Peter Gonto scheduled to hold on December 30 and 31, 2021 at the Bogoro township, the Commissioner of Police, Umar Sanda, has ordered the full deployment of police tactical teams to provide security for lives and properties before, during and after the event.

“He ordered officers and men of the command to intensify efforts in resisting and curtailing any act of lawlessness, oppression or intimidation from any group of persons, and warned the officers and men to be professional while discharging their duties.

“The command therefore wishes to urge law-abiding citizens of the state, particularly the people of Bogoro and Tafawa Balewa local government areas not to panic but go about their normal business and stay away from all forms of crime and criminality.”


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