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The army responds to an attack on troops by Nasarawa demonstrators

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The Nigerian Army has severely condemned an unjustified attack on troops and patrol vehicles during a recent protest along the Lafia-Makurdi Road in Nasarawa State.

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Protesters were claimed to have blocked the key roadway in response to the Court of Appeal’s verdict on the state’s governor election.

“We express our deep concern and disappointment at the protesters’ actions, which included blocking a major highway, causing traffic gridlock for motorists, and attacking troops’ patrol vehicles,” the army said in a statement signed by Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, Director Army Public Relations.

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“Unfortunately, the same protesters who attacked patrol vehicles transporting troops on legitimate duty turned around to falsely claim that the troops’ convoy rammed into the protesters.”

“It is on record from available video footage and visual images of the protest that troops handled the crowd dispersal professionally, ensuring citizens’ safety and protecting public infrastructure.” Suffice it to say that the Nigerian Army recognizes and respects citizens’ rights to peacefully demonstrate their complaints. However, it is important to note that such protests must be carried out within the bounds of the law, ensuring the safety and security of all those concerned.

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“The use of violence, the destruction of public property, and the assault on security personnel is unacceptable and violates the principles of peaceful protest.”

“Our troops were deployed to keep the peace and to protect all citizens, including protesters and public infrastructure.”

“They were following strict engagement rules with the primary goal 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 Army advised all protesting individuals and groups to exhibit restraint and engage in peaceful and productive conversation.

The Nigerian Army has warned that resorting to violence will simply worsen the situation and stymie efforts to resolve any issues.

“We call on community and religious leaders, as well as other stakeholders, to play their part in promoting peace and harmony in their communities.”

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