The Niger State government has instructed the immediate release of Aisha Jibrin, a prominent figure in the recent Minna protest, along with 24 other demonstrators. This directive was conveyed by Binta Mamman, the Niger State Commissioner for Information and Strategies, during a press briefing held in the state capital on Friday.
The arrests stemmed from a peaceful demonstration that swept through Minna on Monday, where residents voiced their frustrations over the rising cost of living. The protest garnered significant participation, with women and youths taking to major roads, causing disruptions to traffic as they voiced their dissent. Notably, security personnel, including police officers, observed the demonstration without immediate intervention.
Among those detained were three women, including 57-year-old Fatima Aliyu, along with 22 others involved in the protest. The arrests drew widespread criticism and discontent from the public, who expressed disapproval of the government’s handling of the situation.
During the press conference, Commissioner Mamman shed light on the government’s decision to release the detained individuals. She explained that the move followed a thorough review of the circumstances surrounding their arrests. Mamman acknowledged the peaceful nature of the protest and recognized the legitimate grievances of the residents regarding the high cost of living.
Mamman addressed the government’s awareness of the hardships faced by its citizens while emphasizing the importance of maintaining peace in the state capital. She urged the public to seek constructive and peaceful avenues to express their grievances, affirming the government’s commitment to addressing the underlying economic challenges faced by residents.
The release of Aisha Jibrin and her fellow protesters has been met with widespread approval from the community and human rights organizations, who see it as a positive step towards upholding the right to peaceful assembly and expression. The incident has sparked discussions about the urgent need for economic reforms and the significance of dialogue between the government and citizens in tackling national challenges.
As calm returns to Minna, attention remains focused on the government’s next steps to alleviate economic burdens on the people of Niger State. There is hope that this development marks the beginning of a more inclusive and responsive governance approach, fostering dialogue and addressing the concerns of citizens.