Political Face Off: Community Petitions IG Over Use of Police

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By Lateef BANGBOSHE, Abuja

Accuses Borno Dep. Gov Of Fomenting Religious Disharmony

The Marama Community in Hawul Local Government area of Borno state has petitioned the Inspector general of Police, Sunday Arase over the use of some policemen from the Borno state Command for arbitrary arrest of youths and Church officials in a political face off between the community and deputy Governor of the state, Usman Mamman Durkwa.
In a four page petition signed by Aaron Hamman Mbaya and David Ishaku Mshelia, on behalf of Marama Youths Association, the community alleged that the Deputy Governor has been using the police to randomly abduct people from the community, including Church leaders in furtherance of his political vendetta on the community following a clash between his thugs and some youths in the town, in the build up to last year’s general elections.
Narrating the genesis of the political clash with the Deputy Governor, the petition stated amongst other things that, sequel to the insecurity in the north East, Maram community, like others organized themselves into volunteer groups to check possible infiltration of their area by Boko Haram. But on the eve of the last Presidential elect ions when all rallies had stopped, Usman Durkwa, then a commissioner in Borno State invaded the community with thugs shouting slogans reminiscent of Boko Haram.
According to them, the community was thrown into initial confusion, as people though it was a Boko Haram attack, but when they realized later that the then commissioner was the one personally leading a political rally, with his thugs attacking everybody in sight, because they perceived that the town was not supportive of his party, people mobilized to resist the invading thugs, resulting into a free for all fight.
They said the community was angered with the chants similar to that of Boko Haram, the hacking down of a nine year old by Usman Durkwa’s thugs, and the pulling down of opposition posters and shades, and decided to confront the invading thugs, all of whom were brought in from another community; resulting into the clash.
In the ensuing milieu, they stated, Durkwa seemed to have realized the mistake of allowing his thugs to be violent, especially as he is from another community, which was not attacked by his own thugs; and fled to his mistresses’ house, where the youths pursued him.
The petition further stated that, on catching up with him in his mistresses house, Usman Durkwa pulled a gun on the already angry community members, but was eventually over powered and beaten up, along with his accomplices, including the them Hawul Local Government council Chairman, who hails from Marama.
They youths went on to allege that, since he became the deputy governor, Usman Durkwa has vowed to avenge himself, wherein he drafted some policemen from Maiduguri the state capital, who formed the habit of coming to Marama and jumping people’s fences, breaking doors and arresting anybody in sight.
Their latest victim, which nearly caused a religious riot in the area, but for the timely intervention of the Area Commander in Biu and The DPO in Hawul, was the arrest of the secretary of the EYN Church, Number, John Anjili Mbaya. As a Church leader, they argued that John has nothing to do with political party activities, and the police have no business abducting him in the manner they did.
“Given the nature of questions John and the others were asked, and the manner of abduction, we have every cause to believe that the operation being launched against Marama people and particularly against our church leaders was not officially ordered by the Police hierarchy”, they stressed, noting that, we have sufficient cause to believe that Usman Durkwa is the

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