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|Troops Have Not Been Deployed To Benue - Defence Headquarters by elampiro(m): 2:24pm On Feb 02|
Nigerian military speaks on ‘deployment’ of troops in Benue
February 2, 2018
The Defence Headquarters on Thursday denied reports that Nigerian troops had been deployed to Benue State following deadly attacks on Fulani in the state.
“The claim is not true and it now appears like some people are playing politics with security,” defence spokesperson, John Agim, told PREMIUM TIMES by telephone Thursday night. “The troops only went on a specific mission and have since returned to base.”
Panic spread quickly across Benue on Thursday after images surfaced online of a convoy of troops riding along major roads in the state, where several attacks linked to farmers-herders crisis have been recorded in recent weeks.
Some newspapers also reported the images and quoted a spokesperson for 707 Special Forces Brigade in Makurdi as confirming the deployment and assuring Gboko residents of their safety.
Daily Independent quoted Olabisi Ayeni, a major, as saying that the soldiers arrived Gboko in seven Toyota Hilux vans ”to scare away criminal elements.”
The Defence Headquarters, however, insisted to PREMIUM TIMES in a follow up enquiry Friday morning that there was no contradiction between its account Thursday night and the statement by the 707 Brigade spokesperson that troops were indeed on ground in Makurdi Thursday.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt from Gboko residents that the only soldiers seen around the predominantly Tiv town as at Friday morning were those working with the police in Operation Zenda.
“Those ones have always been around because they mixed with police when Operation Zenda was launched to combat herdsmen attacks some years back,” a resident said.
The pictures of the military convoy, whose authenticity PREMIUM TIMES could not immediately ascertain, were circulated a day after a mob killed seven travellers in Gboko, an industrial town about 90 kilometres southeast of Makurdi, the state capital.
The police identified the victims as Fulani who were travelling to Kogi and Taraba States. They were killed at a motor park by suspected Tiv thugs who burnt their remains, police said.
The state police commissioner Fatai Owoseni said suspects had been taken into custody in connection with the killings.
Governor Samuel Ortom had also imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in Gboko and charged security operatives to ensure prompt arrest and prosecution of all suspects.
The state government also increased a ransom for the most wanted militiaman in the state from N10 to N50 million on Thursday.
The incident was largely presumed a fallout of January 1 attacks in which suspected herdsmen murdered scores of villagers across two local government areas of the state.
The state government buried over 70 persons in a mass grave near Makurdi on January 12.
President Muhammadu Buhari responded by ordering Inspector-General of police to move to the state on January 9 as parts of his administration’s efforts to return calm and a lasting peace to the affected areas.
Meanwhile, Benue residents have criticised the president for deeming the situation in the state critical enough for deployment of soldiers only after the killings of Fulani.
David Ogbole, a Makurdi-based Pentecostal preacher and founder of the Movement Against Fulani Occupation, described the movement of troops in the state as “shameful” and “belated”.
“The military presence in Benue State is only relevant to the degree to which they crack down on Fulani militia, kill or capture them in the spirit of justice,” Mr. Ogbole said in a statement to PREMIUM TIMES Thursday night. “Anything other than that renders them a burden and an unnecessary sight.”
“He that is not for us is against us. He that comes late, never came at all,” he added.
While denying the alleged deployment, Mr. Agim said the military could only get involved if the police are unable to contain the violence and ask for a back-up.
He said the troops went on a special mission to further destroy shrines suspected to be hideouts of “Tiv militia” in Zaki Biam and Katsina Ala areas.
Mr. Agim, a brigadier-general, said the military has bases in all the 36 states, but only the president can order their active deployment in areas that require intervention.
“As witnessed with the Boko Haram menace, the military is the last line of defence,” Mr. Agim said. “So it cannot just jump up and go into security issues.”
|Re: Troops Have Not Been Deployed To Benue - Defence Headquarters by Homeboiy: 2:25pm On Feb 02|
|Re: Troops Have Not Been Deployed To Benue - Defence Headquarters by Ngokafor(f): 2:31pm On Feb 02|
Story for the press...Believe the utterances from Nigerian Army at your peril..The truth of the matter is whatever evil agenda buhari has for Non-muslim,non-fulanis using the Fulani-Muslim-saturated Security in this country...They will be defeated sooner or later..
|Re: Troops Have Not Been Deployed To Benue - Defence Headquarters by HOLYDICK(m): 2:31pm On Feb 02|
As usual with the lies
|Re: Troops Have Not Been Deployed To Benue - Defence Headquarters by benedictnsi(m): 2:32pm On Feb 02|
Sending troops won't solve these problems...... The government should just call a spade a spade and arrest any erring cattle rancher or terrorist.. ... Who hides under the umbrella of being a herdsman just to molest kill and destroy people's properties.
|Re: Troops Have Not Been Deployed To Benue - Defence Headquarters by elampiro(m): 2:33pm On Feb 02|
Gboko residents have been asking about the location of the troops deployed because they said they can't see them in the streets or anywhere.
The photos being circulated.. People said they saw same soldiers in Lafia yesterday.
I think it was a false alarm.
|Re: Troops Have Not Been Deployed To Benue - Defence Headquarters by Ngokafor(f): 2:39pm On Feb 02|
Dont disregard such info non-the-less because it is better to be safe than sorry...Anything is possible with buhari and his apc cohorts....A word is enough for the wise.
|Re: Troops Have Not Been Deployed To Benue - Defence Headquarters by SalamRushdie: 2:48pm On Feb 02|
And who told you the troops were sent there solve the problem? They are there to protect herdsmen
|Re: Troops Have Not Been Deployed To Benue - Defence Headquarters by ycat: 2:54pm On Feb 02|
Like Jonathan like Buhari, PMB should not win the next election, he too has dropped the ball. Atiku is not an option, so who else is running for president? Breaking Nigeria is the best.
Benue people must stay on the offense because, as you all know, damn if you do, damn if you don't. They are out to kill you off and take your very fertile land. So you might as well fight going down.
|Re: Troops Have Not Been Deployed To Benue - Defence Headquarters by elampiro(m): 3:21pm On Feb 02|
A friend of mine from that state just confirmed that nothing like that going on in Gboko or Benue.
We have to be careful not to incite the public to violence because the 'Nigerian internet' get unnecessary orgasm and busy body on news against Buhari. People should be moderate.
|Re: Troops Have Not Been Deployed To Benue - Defence Headquarters by xlander(m): 4:54pm On Feb 02|
elampiro:I tried to make this point when the thread appeared on front page but people won't listen
|Re: Troops Have Not Been Deployed To Benue - Defence Headquarters by xlander(m): 5:06pm On Feb 02|
elampiro:Well said, anyone that is familiar with the terrain will not that does pictures where not taken in Gboko or enrout.
Nigerian journalist are lazy, imagine a national daily reporting this trash without confirmation.
The main stream media now copy stories from social media, the black race is cursed.
|Re: Troops Have Not Been Deployed To Benue - Defence Headquarters by kamalcole3000: 5:46pm On Feb 02|
elampiro:No, only soldiers have been sent
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