The Zamfara State Police Command said it has arrested 23 Zamfara protesters for possession of firearms during the riot in Tsafe town on Monday.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Usman Belel, made this known to journalists in Gusau after the restoration of peace and normalcy in the affected area, Punch Metro reports.
He said the command was particularly disturbed to discover that some of the protesting youths carried guns and fired shots to scare people after which they burnt several vehicles at the local government secretariat.
“Although arrests were still going on in the local government headquarters, Tsafe and its environs, those arrested would help in investigations in order to fish out the perpetrators and their sponsors.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that residents of Tsafe and environs, particularly Kucheri Village, woke up on Monday morning to face hundreds of youths who blocked the highway with a bonfire and interrupted travellers from Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara States from passing to other parts of the country as well as those heading to the three states.
The rampaging youths were said to have taken over a planned peaceful demonstration by Internally Displaced Persons camped in the area who felt they had overstayed and wanted to return to their villages.
The protesters had burned several vehicles and offices in the local government secretariat including the chairman’s office and offices allocated to some international non-governmental organisations operating in the area.
The mayhem was finally quelled by a combined team of security personnel who dispersed the protesters and restored calm to the area.
The Commissioner of Police said a detachment of the command’s officers and men would ”remain in the area until we are fully satisfied that there is peace.”