In spite of heavy security backing, shots were fired on Wednesday morning by an Operation Yaki van escorting high profile prisoners from a court hearing to the Kaduna Convict Prison, who were obstructed by thousands of angry Kaduna women on a procession to protest the non-approval of a $350 million loan requested by the state government.
The women, most of whom had babies strapped to their backs, while on the procession along Independence Way, occupied the road and in a bid to clear a portion of the road, shots were fired.
Fielding questions from newsmen who tracked them up to the entrance of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, State Women Leader of international Women and Youth Development Revival, organizers of the protest, Saratu Abdulazeez explained that the protest was targeted at expressing displeasure on the delays in approving the loan.
She said that they are not accusing the Senator Representing Kaduna Central of preventing the approval of the loan, but are only appealing to him to fast-track its approval.
“We are here because we want our leader to assist our government in getting the money needed to develop the state. We are not accusing Senator Shehu Sani of frustrating the loan request. We voted for him, we took him to Abuja.”
”We are only pleading with him that he should listen to us, not accusing him,” she stressed.
Also explaining why they embarked on the peaceful protest, Kaduna Central Women leader of the group, Amina Ali said that the NGO which has been in existence for over two years are begging that the loan is approved to ensure a better future for them and the generation yet unborn.
The protesting women, under the aegis of International Women and Youth Development Revival, had commenced the procession from the Murtala Mohammed Square at about 11 am.
Other stop-overs were at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Kaduna Council Secretariat, the All Progressives Congress (APC) North West Secretariat, before reaching the final point, the Kaduna State House of Assembly where they delivered a letter to the Speaker, expressing their displeasure over the non-approval of the loan request.
Similarly, a coalition of Civil Society Organizations in the state had on Monday issued a seven-day ultimatum to Senator Representing Kaduna Central, Comrade Shehu Sani to ensure the requests scales through, or face consequences.
The coalition during a press briefing in Kaduna on Monday, in which the text was jointly signed by its chairman, Comrade Zubairu Mukhtar and Secretary, Comrade Richard Augustine and read by the chairman.
According to the coalition, “we are saying that Senator and his pay masters should as a matter of urgency hands off and reverse their position to stop the Government of Kaduna State from accessing the loan. Kaduna State does not belong to any individual. We the people of Kaduna State stand in solidarity with the leadership of the state to acquire the loan of $350 million for our state’s development.”