Army Condemns Attack On Troops In Nasarawa

"Our troops were deployed to maintain law and order, and ensure the safety of all citizens, including the protesters and public infrastructure."


The protesters seen with troops. Credit: Nigerian Army

 

The Nigerian Army has condemned an attack on troops in Nasarawa State, describing it as unprovoked.

“The Nigerian Army wishes to strongly condemn the unprovoked attack on troops and patrol vehicles in a recent protest that occurred along Lafia-Makurdi Road in Nasarawa State, where protesters blocked the major highway in response to the outcome of the Court of Appeal’s ruling on the gubernatorial election in the state,” the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, said Tuesday.

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Speaking about the incident, he narrated that the protesters had caused “tortuous traffic gridlock to motorists and attacking troops’ patrol vehicles” along the area.

But, he said: “Sadly, this same set of protesters who attacked patrol vehicles conveying troops on legitimate duty, have turned around to spuriously allege that troops’ convoy rammed into the protesters,” the statement read.

“It is on record from available video footage and visual images of the protest, that troops conducted the crowd dispersal professionally by ensuring the safety of citizens and protecting public infrastructure.”

See the full statement below:

NIGERIAN ARMY CONDEMNS ATTACK ON TROOPS, PATROL VEHICLES DURING PROTESTS IN NASARAWA STATE

The Nigerian Army wishes to strongly condemn the unprovoked attack on troops and patrol vehicles in a recent protest that occurred along Lafia-Makurdi Road in Nasarawa State, where protesters blocked the major highway in response to the outcome of the Court of Appeal’s ruling on the gubernatorial election in the state. We express our utmost concern and disappointment at the actions of the protesters, who resorted to blocking the major highway, causing tortuous traffic gridlock to motorists and attacking troops’ patrol vehicles.

Sadly, this same set of protesters who attacked patrol vehicles conveying troops on legitimate duty, have turned around to spuriously allege that the troops’ convoy rammed into the protesters. It is on record from available video footage and visual images of the protest, that troops conducted the crowd dispersal professionally by ensuring the safety of citizens and protecting public infrastructure.  Suffice to state that the Nigerian Army recognizes and respects the rights of citizens to express their grievances through peaceful protests. However, it is pertinent to emphasize that such protests must be conducted within the confines of the law, ensuring the safety and security of all parties involved. The resort to violence, destruction of public property, and assault on security personnel is unacceptable and goes against the principles of peaceful protest.

Our troops were deployed to maintain law and order, and ensure the safety of all citizens, including the protesters and public infrastructure. They were operating under strict rules of engagement with the primary objective of preventing further escalation of violence and maintaining peace. The action of the protesters in pelting stones at troops and attacking patrol vehicles not only endangered the lives of our personnel but also undermined the peaceful nature of the protest.

The Nigerian Army urges all individuals and groups involved in protests to exercise restraint and engage in peaceful and constructive dialogue. Resorting to violence only exacerbates the situation and hampers progress towards resolving any grievances. We call on community and religious leaders as well as other stakeholders to play their part in promoting peace and harmony in their communities.

We assure the public that the Nigerian Army remains apolitical and committed to the protection and safety of all citizens. We will continue to work closely with other security agencies to ensure the safety and security of the people of Nasarawa State and the nation as a whole. We will not tolerate any form of violence. We also entreat the media and the public to exercise caution in reporting and disseminating information by ensuring accuracy and fairness. Let us work together to build a peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.

 

28 November 2023