Attack on soldiers: Army speaks on closure of Abuja  Banex plaza

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The Nigerian Army says the closure of the popular Banex Plaza in Wuse Abuja was in response to the unfortunate brutal attack on some Nigerian Army

By Sumaila Ogbaje

The Nigerian Army says the closure of the popular Banex Plaza in Wuse Abuja was in response to the unfortunate brutal attack on some Nigerian Army personnel by some hoodlums at the plaza.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that there was an unrest at the plaza on May 18 when some army personnel were attacked by yet to be identified hoodlums, following a disagreement over phone.

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The Director, Army Public Relations, Maj.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement on Tuesday, said the closure followed a meeting convened with the management of Banex Plaza to  identify and apprehend the perpetrators of the heinous act.

Nwachukwu said it was agreed that activities in the plaza be temporarily shut to ensure that the hoodlums who had been using the Banex neighborhood as a sanctuary to pose security threat to the Federal Capital Territory were apprehended.

He said that 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.

According to Nwachukwu, it is important to note that the soldiers attacked were unarmed, did not engage in any form of aggression, and posed no threat to anyone.

“The cruel treatment meted out to them was entirely unwarranted and unjustifiable.

“There Is need for an extensive investigation to be conducted at the scene to determine both the immediate and underlying causes of this mayhem.

“This investigation ultimately aims at ensuring the security of the Federal Capital Territory and to prevent such unwarranted attacks on our personnel and other security operatives, as has been observed in other areas, such as the unfortunate attack in Okuama,” he said.

Nwachukwu said the Nigerian army would also ensure that it diligently investigates the circumstances surrounding the presence of the personnel at the plaza and the attack that ensued.

He said that such acts of violence against personnel were not only condemnable, but could degenerate to a breakdown of law and order, orchestrating threats to national security.

He enjoined members of the public to exercise caution and restraint in dealing with military personnel and other security operatives, especially when they are in uniform.

According to him, there are established channels through which grievances or misconduct by  personnel could be reported to the appropriate authorities.

“It is imperative that these channels are utilised to maintain order and respect for those who serve and protect our nation,” he added. (NAN)

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