The Nigerian Army has debunked reports suggesting that its personnel opened fire on protesting staff of Dangote Sugar Company in Adamawa State, resulting in the death of seven persons.
A statement by the assistant director of Army Public Relations, Major Haruna Mohammed Sani, described the said report by an online newspaper as a mischievous one “written in a haste without observing the basic tenets of objectivity and balance in news story writing.
“It is also a calculated attempt to dent the image of the Nigerian Army which is doing so much to ensure that the good people of Adamawa state live in peace without threat to their lives and property,” Sani stated.
The Army stated that soldiers did not open fire on protesting staff of the company at Gyawana district under Lafiya Lamurde local government area of Adamawa State.
The army spokesman said, “This headquarters wishes to inform the general public that on 15 July 2021 at about 2: 00 pm, the Gyawana community staged a protest against the management of Dangote Sugar Company threatening to shut down the establishment and abduct expatriates for sacking some staff of the company who are members of the host community.
“Efforts to calm the situation by the Nigerian Police and personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence corps proved abortive as the irate youths, wielding cutlasses, machetes and other dangerous weapons, overpowered them.
“When a distress call was made to an internal security outfit in Adamawa State nicknamed Operation Farauta, they swiftly mobilized and moved to reinforce the police and civil defence deployment at the location. In the process, tear gas as well as warning shots were fired as some of the non-violent means of crowd dispersal and to further prevent own troops from being lynched by the mob.
“Consequently, the situation was brought under control. Unfortunately, some soldiers sustained minor injuries from the stones thrown by the mob but no single protester was killed.”
Sani further noted that as a professional and disciplined institution, the Nigerian Army operates within the purview of the constitution and in line with rules of engagement and code of conduct that serve as guides to troops in all military engagements.
He enjoined members of the public to remain calm and disregard the report “while rendering support to the Nigerian Army in her resolve to discharge its constitutional mandate of aiding the civil authority when called upon to safeguard lives and property of law abiding citizens.”