By Wole Mosadomi
Minna—Hundreds of irate youths in Niger State, yesterday, embarked on a protest over the resolution of the state House of Assembly that urged the governor to dissolve all the 25 local government councils.
The legislators also directed the governor to conduct a fresh election to usher in another set of chairmen soonest.
The protesters, chanting war songs, were on their way to the state House of Assembly when they met stiff resistance from armed policemen.
Pleas by the Police to the protesters to disperse from the gate fell on deaf ears as they insisted on gaining entrance into the premises, until the Police used hot water and tear gas to disperse the protesters.
The Councillors Forum, which also planned a protest and were meeting at the Abdulsalami Abubakar Youth Centre, a stone throw to the Assembly Complex, were also dispersed by policemen with tear gas.
The development led to a stampede during which some of the councillors were injured as they scaled the fence to safety.
The development also forced the House of Assembly to suspend plenary to avoid being attacked.
Meanwhile, a coalition of civil society groups, the State Joint Civil Right Societies of Nigeria, has called on Governor Abubakar Bello to maintain the status quo as far as planned dissolution of local governments in the state was concerned.
Addressing journalists in Minna yesterday, spokesman of the group, Mohammed Etsu, condemned the stand of the legislators on the issue, adding that they are only fighting a personal battle.