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Calm Returns To Maiduguri After Soldiers’ Protests



Calm has returned in Maiduguri following Protests by soldiers of the special force deployed to Borno state for the counter – insurgency operations who shot sporadically Sunday evening within the Maiduguri International Airport and environs in protest of what some of them described as irregular postings.

The soldiers during the protest barricaded the airport gate for over three hours firing shots sporadically into the air and forcing many residents around the area to flee.

LEADERSHIP gathered that the shootings were protests against redeployment of the soldiers from Maiduguri to another location at the northern part of Borno State.

The soldiers it was also gathered said they were deployed to Borno since February 2015 and ought to have been released to return to their original unit after serving three years at the theatre for the counter-insurgency operation.

One of the soldiers who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity said : “We feel this is unfair and against what the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai has always said ,that any soldier who has spent three years in the theatre will be relieved and allow to return to his unit.

Meanwhile, in a statement issued to newsmen on Monday in Maiduguri by the Deputy Director Theatre Command of Opetation Lafiya Dole, Col Onyema Nwachukwu , the Army said calm has however been restored ,as the Theartre Commander , Major General Abba Dikko has promptly taken charge of the situation after addressing and admonishing the troops.

Col Nwachukwu said : ” The Theatre Command yesterday witnessed a riotous reaction from a few unscrupulous troops while conducting a redeployment of troops who are currently deployed at the Maiduguri Airport, following a directive to review troops’ deployment in Maiduguri metropolis in a bid to reinvigorate the security architecture of the city.

” The redeployment became expedient after a recent assessment of the security situation by the Theatre Command. Regrettably however,  a few of the troops who had misunderstood the development and erroneously assumed it was going to negatively affect their rotation from the theatre of operation became agitated and reacted by firing into the air.

“Calm has however been restored, as the Theatre Commander, Major General Abba Dikko has promptly taken charge of the situation after addressing and admonishing the troops.

“The Theatre Command undoubtedly considers this ugly incident quite regrettable and appropriate measures are being taken to forestall a recurrence,” The Spokesman added .

The statement further said that Members of the general public are please enjoined to remain calm and go about their normal activities as the situation has been put under firm control.