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Imposition Of Village Head : Niger Community Raises Alarm ,Sends SOS To IGP Over Human Rights Abuses

Following allegations of the imposition of the Salka village head and violations of important human rights by the Emir of Kontagora, Alhaji Muhammad Barau, the Police Area Commander, and Associates, the Ollopu Youth Association of Salka in the Magama Local Government Area of Niger State has expressed concern about the current situation in Salka town.

The King Makers and Women Representatives in Salka were invited to Kontagora by the Emir, Alhaji Muhammad Barau, through the District Head of Salka, Alhaji Shehu Bawan Dodo, on February 2nd, 2023. The Emir informed them that after careful consideration and consultation with the people of Kontagora, they had decided to return the troubled Village Head to the village.

He , however, added that responding, the Adide of Salka, one of the highly respected kingmakers informed the Emir that the Kingmakers of Salka were not consulted, insisting that the people of Salka have resolved not to have the embattled village head back on throne.

His words: “On hearing this, the palace guards (Dogarai) descended on him with horse whip (koboko) lashes and beating until one of the women representative stood up and held the King maker, in order to shield him, and was also hit by the koboko.

“It was at that point that the Emir ordered them to stop the beating. They inflicted physical injury on him and was thereafter taken to the Police area Command Office Kontagora like a Common criminal not even allowing him to wear his shoe.

“He and his colleagues were detained in the police area command office from morning till late evening without food and were later released.All these happened under the watch of the Police Area Commander, Alhaji Gawuna and Divisional Police Officer, Magama Local Government Mallam who were supposed to be representatives of the Inspector General of Police and the Chief Law Officer of the Federation”, he stressed.

He further hinted that: “This is a flagrant abuse of office and an infringement on the rights of Adide of Salka, as he is constitutionally allowed to express himself.

“For Avoidance of doubt, the embattled Village Head of Salka ran out of Salka on 17th October, 2022 as a result of a protest by the people of Salka against abuse of office, misrule, maladministration and lack of respect for human dignity exhibited by him. This was followed by a letter of appeal to the Emir for his immediate removal as the village head dated 21st October, 2022 but no action was taken.

“For allegations bordering on security to be made against the village head and no action is taken at all by either the Emir and/or the Police raise more questions than answers. And the Kingmakers of Salka deserve respect like any other king maker in Nigeria and must be treated as such.

“With all due respect, they are the rightful institution to choose a village head for Salka town. This is in consonance with Section 3(2) of the Appointment and Deposition of Chiefs Act of Niger State, 1989( as amended).
He further alleged that the kingmakers and the women were under duress, asked to sign documents which content they did not know since they could not read in English but the police kept telling them that if anything happens in Salka, they will be held responsible.

“The Niger State Commissioner of Police and Inspector General of Police are kindly invited to take note, as the actions of the Emir and his cohorts to our King makers are unacceptable and condemnable.

“We therefore plead with the media, Human Rights Organizations and the Nigerian Government to call them to order and keep watch on their actions”. We are firm believers in the tenets of democracy which allows for freedom of choice by the people and rule of law.

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