Army Reopens Abuja Plaza After Clash with Soldiers

The Nigerian Army has announced the “immediate reopening” of Banex Plaza in Wuse 2, Abuja. This decision follows the closure of the plaza due to a violent incident involving traders and two soldiers.

On May 18, chaos erupted at the plaza when traders engaged in a fight with two soldiers. According to witnesses, the soldiers had visited the plaza to complain about a phone, which led to an argument and eventually escalated into a physical altercation with the traders. In response, many shop owners and traders quickly closed their shops to avoid any potential reprisal attacks.

On May 20, military personnel arrived in several vehicles and shut down the plaza. However, army headquarters later clarified that the closure was temporary and aimed at facilitating the arrest of those who attacked the soldiers.

In a statement on Monday, Oyema Nwachukwu, Director of Army Public Relations, announced that an agreement to reopen the plaza was reached after a meeting with the plaza’s management and other stakeholders.

“This incident prompted a high-level meeting in the Office of the National Security Adviser, involving key officials such as the Principal General Staff Officer to the NSA, the Commissioner of Police FCT, the FCT Director of the Department of State Services, the Leadership and Management of Banex Plaza, a representative from the Abuja Environmental Protection Board, and the National Chairman of the Mobile Phone Traders Association,” the statement read.

Nwachukwu stated that the meeting aimed to identify and apprehend those responsible for attacking the soldiers and to ensure the continued security of Abuja. The meeting agreed that shop C93, where the incident occurred, should be locked immediately. It was also decided that the shop owners who orchestrated the mob attack on the soldiers should be arrested.

“Market leaders are urged to remain vigilant and report any remaining perpetrators to the authorities,” Nwachukwu said. He added that the two individuals already arrested have been handed over to the headquarters of the Nigerian Army Corps of Military Police for further action.

The army will “thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the presence of its personnel at the plaza and the subsequent attack,” he said. “Acts of violence against military personnel are not only condemnable but also pose a significant threat to national security and public order,” he emphasized.

Nwachukwu urged the public to exercise caution and restraint when interacting with military personnel and other security operatives, especially when they are in uniform. He also reminded the public that there are established channels for reporting grievances or misconduct by personnel to the appropriate authorities.

About Olakunle Oyedunmola

A Veteran Journalist | Scriptwriter | Clergy | Photographer | Videography | Businessman | Actor | Contractor | Motivational Speaker | Scout and currently the Chief Correspondent at National Telescope Newspapers.

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