2 persons, policeman injured in multiple taxation protest

THREE persons, including a police officer, were seriously injured during an exchange of gunshots between policemen and some youths at Gaando in Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State.

The Nigerian Tribune learnt that the policemen had moved to the area to quell the crisis and to dismantle road- blocks mounted by youths in protest against the multiple taxation imposed by Board of  Internal Revenue  Service,  BIRS, on farm produce, particularly tomatoes.

Gaando is one of the tomatoe markets in the state, and last Wednesday was the market day.

The Nigerian Tribune gathered that youths in their hundreds stormed out on the market day and barricaded the road close to the Dangote Cement Company in Tse-Kucha, for over four hours causing  gridlock.

Several motorists travelling on the road which is a major federal highway, had to stop for several hours before police could successfully dismantle the roadblock.

The protest, however, became bloody when men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, were deployed to the area to quell the protest.

The youth, who were also said to be armed, engaged them in gun duel which led to a policeman with two others being hit in the process.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Moses Yamu, who confirmed the incident in a telephone  conversation with newsmen, said 16 persons had already been arrested and were undergoing interrogation.