News available to ViewPointNigeria indicates that the spokesperson of “Plateau One Voice” (a coalition of various youth groups on the Plateau) was arrested and detained illegally, after staging a peaceful protest on 10th May 2015, at old Airport Junction, Jos to register their displeasure over the incessant killings in Plateau villages.
The protest which was widely covered by several media outlets began at 7:00 am and ended at 10:00 am, with youth staging a sit down on major roads (Yakudu Gowon way) and holding banners and placards demonstrating their frustration at the hacking/killing of innocent citizens in Plateau villages. A a communique outlining the position of the youth was read out by Miss Mildred Bako (one of the spokespersons of the group).
Following the peaceful protest however, Mildred was said to have started receiving anonymous phone calls from persons who identified themselves as military men, inviting her for a chat at the STF office, in respect of the protest. Not sure about the identities or consequences of such an invitation, Mildred told them that she was out of town but will report to the office once back to Jos.
A few days on, the soldiers got desperate and resorted to tracing her relatives with a view of locating her. They traced one of her brothers and coerced him to lead them to Mildred. In collaboration with other members of her family, Mildred was tricked, pressured and conveyed to the 3rd Armoured division (Rukuba Cantonment) on Friday 12th June, 2015.
On arrival, Mildred was disposed of her possessions (phones, personal effects etc). The soldiers then went through all her phone records (text messages, call records, Facebook conversations etc). She was intimidated, insulted and accused of staging a violent protest – charges which she vehemently denied.
They then referred to an erroneous report by one of the TV stations in Jos, which inaccurately used an old video from a yet to be identified protest where tyres were being burnt as evident of what Plateau One Voice organised. Perplexed by this, she offered to contact other members of Plateau One Voice to get pictures and videos of the peaceful protest. The soldiers however refused to listen to her submission and instead, said they would teach her a lesson so as not to stage another act which could disturb the peace of the city.
In the middle of the highly charged interrogations, one of her brothers (who was away at the time of her arrest) summed up courage and went to the barracks to secure the release of his sister. He pleaded with the soldiers, asking that they be considerate as she is not known to be involved in any such acts. He promised to take responsibility for her actions, at which point the soldiers agreed to release her – on the strict instruction that he returns her on Monday 15th June 2015, with the names of all the Youths of Plateau One Voice and their leaders. They also asked that she brings all photos and videos from the protest.
Mildred was released to her brother at 7:30 pm yesterday, Friday 12th June 2015.
For ViewPointNigeria’s earlier report on the said protest on 10th May 2015, see http://www.viewpointnigeria.com/plateau-youths-protest-threatened-to-drag-military-to-international-criminal-court-of-justice-over-recent-killings/
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