Army condemns attack on soldiers during  Nasarawa protest

Army condemns attack on soldiers during  Nasarawa protest

The Nigerian Army on Tuesday condemned the attack on its personnel during a protest in Nasarawa State.

The service said the protesters had blocked the major roads to express their grievances against the verdict of the Court of Appeal on the governorship election in the state.

The Army, in a statement by its spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, said he was disappointed by the action of the protesters.

The statement read,  “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 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.

“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.”

He noted that despite dispersing the protesters professionally,  they accused the soldiers of ramming into them.

Onyema added, “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. 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.”

Onyema said while citizens have the rights to protest,  they must refrain from violence, destruction of public property, and assault on security personnel.

“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, ” the statement added.

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