Army launches probe into attack on soldiers at Abuja plaza

By Chibuzor Alli

The Nigerian Army has initiated an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the presence of its personnel at Banex Plaza and the subsequent attack that occurred. The probe aims to ensure the security of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and prevent similar incidents in the future.

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The Army spokesperson, Maj.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, announced this in a statement on Tuesday, May 21. According to The Nation, the altercation between soldiers and traders at the popular Banex Plaza in Abuja on Sunday, over the sale of phones, led to the plaza’s closure by security agents to restore law and order.

Gen. Nwachukwu clarified that the soldiers involved in the incident were unarmed, did not engage in any aggressive behavior, and posed no threat, making the attack on them entirely unwarranted and unjustifiable. He stated, “A swift intervention by soldiers and policemen on internal security duties salvaged the situation and rescued the attacked personnel from being lynched by the hoodlums.”

In response to the incident, a meeting was held with Banex Plaza management to identify and apprehend the perpetrators. The plaza was temporarily shut down to ensure the apprehension of the hoodlums who have been using the area as a sanctuary, posing a security threat to the FCT. The investigation aims to uncover both the immediate and underlying causes of the mayhem.

Maj.-Gen. Nwachukwu emphasized that such acts of violence against military personnel are condemnable and could lead to a breakdown of law and order, posing threats to national security. He urged the public to exercise caution and restraint when dealing with military personnel and other security operatives, especially when they are in uniform. He also highlighted the established channels through which grievances or misconduct by personnel can be reported to the appropriate authorities.

This investigation is crucial for maintaining the security of the FCT and preventing future unwarranted attacks on military and security personnel, as seen in previous incidents such as the unfortunate attack in Okuama.

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