Hundreds of protesters mostly tanker drivers yesterday blocked Jos Naraguta junction leading to Bauchi after a tanker driver was assaulted by members of the Special Task Force (STF) at a nearby checkpoint.
It was learnt that the victim, an elderly man in his fifties, had a misunderstanding with the STF operatives at the checkpoint over N100. A witness said he saw an STF operative beating the victim before he slumped and was rushed to a hospital. Another witness said he saw a man in a military uniform around Bauchi junction beating the victim but could not say what led to the misunderstanding.
Shortly after the incident, angry protesters took over the streets on the assumption that the victim had died on his way to the hospital.
Malam Aliyu Inuwa Tike, who was stranded at the junction, said “I was passing by when I noticed the road was blocked and there were angry protesters everywhere.”
Tike, who said the junction was blocked for four hours, said the “STF sector commander came to the area in two Hilux vans with the victim in one of the vehicles. We saw the victim with a syringe attached to his wrist and he waved to us but he was looking very weak.”
The STF Media and Information Officer, Captain Mustapha, denounced speculations that the victim was shot by the STF, saying “I want to assure you that nobody was shot and it was not true that the soldiers at the checkpoint were demanding for N100.”
Mustapha however said the victim was only beaten by the STF operatives at the checkpoint because he refused to subject himself for searches.