Aftermath of the 24-hour curfew imposed on Sokoto metropolis, calm and normalcy is gradually returning to the city ravaged by violent protest Saturday morning.
The declaration of the curfew, announced in a statewide broadcast by Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, was to stem the violent protest sparked by procession along major streets, demanding the release of the two suspects Sokoto police command, claimed are in their custody, with regards to the gruesome murder of a female student on alleged blasphemy.
Our correspondent who drove round the metropolis observed deserted roads by motorists in compliance with the curfew while shops and business premises were under lock.
Security personnel were seen at major roundabouts within the metropolis.
Meanwhile, contrary to the fake news trending on social media that hoodlums had set Bishop Kukah’s Sokoto resident ablaze, the Catholic church has debunked such claim.
Rather, the church in a press release issued to journalists by Rev. Fr. Christopher Omotosho, catalogued Catholic churches and properties torched by the protesters.
Rev. Fr. Omotosho, Director, Directorate of Social Communication, Catholic Diocese of Sokoto stated that, “during the protest, group of youths led by some adults in the background attacked the Holy Family Catholic Cathedral at Bello Way, destroyed church glass window, those of the Bishop Lawton Secretariat and vandalized a community bus parked within the premises.
“St. Kevin’s Catholic Church, Gidan Dere, Eastern by-pass was also attacked and partly burnt, windows of the new hospital complex under construction in the same premises were shattered.
“The hoodlums also attacked the Bakhita Centre and burnt down a bus within the premises. They were promptly dispersed by a team of mobile policemen before they could do further damage.”
In his reaction, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Reverend Mathew Hassan Kukah, commended Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, for acting promptly by declaring 24-hour curfew to stem the protest.
In a related development, Sokoto state police command has refuted allegation that, a top police source in the command has categorized one of the suspects during the incident at Shehu Shagari College of Education as a foreign intruder from Niger Republic, who came in illegally to perpetrate the act.
The Command PPRO, ASP Sanusi Abubakar, in a press statement said, “the fabricated publication which claimed its sources from the Command is falsehood and cannot be substantiated.
“The command did not issue out any statement or signed press release in that regard. The publication is an act by some mischievous makers trying to create chaos into the mind of law abiding citizens and to distarbilize the existing peaceful atmosphere restored as a result of Thursday incident.
“The Commissioner of Police Sokoto State Command CP Kamaldeen Kola Okunlola, enjoin the people of Sokoto state to embrace compliance with the curfew emplaced by the state government to maintain peace and order in the state.”