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Fear Grips Gboko Residents As Soldiers Parade Streets



Fear has gripped residents of Gboko town, the ancestral home of the Tiv nation, as troops of the Nigerian Army in seven trucks moved into the city occupying major streets.

Our correspondent gathered that Gboko had last Wednesday witnessed serious skirmish- es where the police con rmed the death of sev- en persons.

LEADERSHIP Friday gathered that prior to the arrival of the army in the town, infor- mation had ltered-in that the mission of the army was to allegedly destroy the town follow- ing the killing of some travelers in the area the previous day by criminals.

However, in a swift reaction, spokesman for the Army, Assistant Director, Army Public Re- lations, 707 Special Forces, Major Olabisi Olale- kan Ayeni in a telephone conversation debunked the insinuation that the soldiers were deployed to Gboko to cause harm to anyone but to keep the peace and maintain law and order.

He said: “Yes, the soldiers are already in Gboko. But what happened is that when they got there, they went round in about seven hilux to register their presence in Gboko, to scare away criminals and law breakers who will want to cause disturbance and havoc in the area.

“ The people were just afraid seeing the movement of the soldiers. We have heard about the insinuation but that is not true. The Army’s presence in Gboko is to maintain peace and not to kill or burn houses. e army is for all Nigerians and not for a single set of people. It is against our ethics, it is against our profession to take side,” Ayeni added.

Meanwhile, Benue State government has directed all security agencies to arrest all vehicles with covered plates numbers and banned the use of sirens by individuals in the state.

In the new order only traditional rulers are permitted to cover their plates numbers up to the end of February, 2018 after which issues relating to their numbers will be sort- ed out.