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COVID-19: Irate youth burn police station in Katsina over restriction on prayers

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Ninety suspected rioters said to be linked to the burning of a police station and the official residence of the Divisional Police Officer’s of Kusada town, in Kusada LocalGovernment Area of the Katsina State have been arrested, according to a police report.

As part of measures to curtail the spread of the ravaging coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Katsina State Government had ordered the closing of its borders with neighbouring states and the Republic of Niger, whilst also suspending Muslim Friday congregational prayers and church services.

A cross-section of Kusada residents took to the streets, however, on Saturday protesting the arrest of an Imam who flouted the order and conducted the Juma’at prayers at his mosque.

According to a press statement by the Police Public Relations Officer in Katsina, “yesterday, March 27, 2020, some disgruntled youths under the leadership of one Mallam Hassan tested the will of the state and conducted a Friday prayer in one of the Kusada jumma’at mosques.

“Subsequently, he was arrested for questioning at the Area Commander’s office, Malumfashi which did not go down well with some of his followers.

“Consequently, today, March 28, 2020, at about 09:00 hrs, this particular group organised themselves in such a tumultuous manner, rioting, attacked and overpowered the policemen on duty at Kusada Division, set ablaze the police station and the DPO’s quarters.

“They also burnt down seven motor vehicles and 10 motorcycles in custody of the police station.

“The Commissioner of Police, Katsina State command, Sanusi Buba, has ordered the deployment of police patrol teams and a special joint security task force on the enforcement of public gathering in the state led by DC Operations to the area which has already restored normalcy.

“90 suspected rioters have been arrested, while one of the rioters lost his life as a result of the encounter.”

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