The Nigerian Army has condemned the unprovoked attack on troops and patrol vehicles in a recent protest that occurred along the Lafia-Makurdi Road in Nasarawa State.
Protesters had blocked the major highway in response to the outcome of a Court of Appeal’s ruling on the gubernatorial election in the state.
A statement by the Army’s spokesman, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, says the army is concerned and disappointed at the actions of the protesters, who resorted to blocking the major highway, causing traffic gridlock for motorists, and attacking troops’ patrol vehicles.
The statement added that the same set of protesters who attacked patrol vehicles conveying troops on legitimate duty, turned around to allege that the troops’ convoy rammed into the protesters and that 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.
The Army says it recognizes the rights of citizens to express their grievances.
However, such protests must be conducted within the confines of the law.
It adds that the troops were operating under strict rules of engagement, with the primary objective of preventing further escalation of violence, and maintaining peace.
(Editor: Ifeanyi Mark)