Men of the Nigerian Army in Kaduna allegedly beat up a traditional ruler during the demolition of 300 homes midweek.
According to sources, the incident occurred when soldiers accompanying the Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Authority, KASUPDA, reacted violently to the protest of a traditional ruler in Cikun local government area, in southern Kaduna.
They were alleged to have beaten up and injured the royal father. Mr Akila Luka Barde, the Sarkin Samari, Youth Leader, of Cikun, was beat up by men of the Nigerian Army, for daring to record their attacks on youths in the community.
Luka said the soldiers who came to enforce the eviction notice of KASUPDA, harassed and beat up members of the community without provocation, adding that he was away from the area when the soldiers arrived at 10am.
Luka was immediately called by a member of his community, when the soldiers started beating up the youths in the area.
When he got to the scene, he noticed their hostility, seeing the violence, he initially attempted to contact the correspondent of the local government, but he did not respond to the call.
Luka subsequently called in a pressman to cover the incident, a development that angered the soldiers, who upon sighting the video camera, seized it, and when they were told Luka brought the cameraman, they began to pummel both men.
Youths in the area had to bring Luka’s aged mother to the scene, telling the soldiers that if anything happened to her, the soldiers would not leave the community alive.
It was at this time, over an hour later, that the soldiers relented and threw Luka and the cameraman in to a Toyota Hilux truck.
“Reaching there, starting the coverage, they now called me, saying I’m the one that brought him, and started beating me. He (the soldier) asked me who gave me the authority to bring a cameraman to cover them.”
“They started beating the cameraman and I, forcing us to frog-jump. When people started gathering, someone went and called my mother.”
Luka said that although about 40 Policemen were present, they did not harm anyone; neither did they move a finger to stop the assault.
“Someone told them that this is my mum, and if anything happened to her, they would not leave the place. That was when the Army man left me. The policemen didn’t touch anyone, it was only the Army men” he said.
The Youths in the area were afraid to pull out their phones to record the incident, after seeing what became of Luka and the cameraman.
Luka sustained injuries on his back, his feet and his legs, said that the soldiers came with the KASUPDA team on Friday, March 10, to serve a 21-day eviction notice in the area, but returned less than seven days later to forcefully evict the residents.
There were more than 10 soldiers, including 2 men of the Operation Yaki Special Unit, 40 policemen, and several agents of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, who came in 15 trucks, to serve eviction notices.
Luka said the youths in the area did nothing to provoke the attack on them by the soldiers.

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