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Apprehension as soldiers take over 30 States

By Karls Tsokar, Joseph Wantu and John Ogiji   |   07 August 2016   |   5:09 am
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• Invade Gbishe In Search For Notorious Criminal
• StormCommunities In Niger
• Traditional Rulers Demand Troops Withdrawal From Niger Delta

In a bid to curb insecurity in the country, the high command of the military has deployed troops to 30 states of the federation, a development that has however, led to apprehension in some communities.

For instance, not less than 1,000 men of the Nigerian Army and the Police, allegedly invaded Gbishe, a renowned farming settlement, in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue State, in the early hours of yesterday, reducing over 1,000 homes to rubbles.

The Guardian sources from the community revealed that the soldiers, were deployed to comb the area, to arrest a former amnesty leader in the state, Terwase Akwaza alias ‘Ghana’, who has been declared wanted by the police for killing Governor Ortom’s Senior Special Assistant on Security, Denen Igbana.


Also on Thursday, a bloody clash between the Military and Kpaidna community in Bosso local government of Niger State, allegedly led to the death of nine soldiers and seven civilians, leaving hundred of other civilians wounded.

Likewise, four Hilux Pick-up vans belonging to the Nigerian Army were reportedly burnt, while two were damaged in the clash that occurred at about 2am, when the soldiers invaded the community in what the Army called “cordon search operation” for arms, said to have been stock-piled by the community.

Recall that a report circulated by a strategic Intelligence analysis firm, SBM Intelligence, said 30 out of the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory were flooded with troops deployed to strategic locations, where there are reports of insecurity, ranging from kidnapping, murder, armed banditry, communal clashes, theft and other such criminalities that threaten the peace and tranquility of the nation, with the potential to escalate to the point of national concern.

Though the Spokesman of the Army Colonel Sani Usman has not responded to inquiries made to him regarding the deployment, and the killings in Niger State, sources told The Guardian that the deployment is a presidential order, given to the leadership of the Armed Forces and other security agencies in the country, to the effect that the threats posed by the various security concerns in different parts of the country require proactive response if they are to be curtailed.

“The directive is that we should nip every such threat in the bud, especially those with the potential to escalate to become a national embarrassment, like the Boko Haram experience has become. If it were decisively nipped in the bud, we would not have been where we are today,” a source said.

Now, the presence of the soldiers has created palpable fear in some parts of the country, as soldiers were seen disembarking from Trucks in their numbers and taking up strategic positions, without a formal warning to the inhabitants.

Yesterday morning in Katsina Ala area, more than 15 trucks, load of Soldiers were seen coming down, taking up positions, disrupting social gatherings and business activities, as people scurried away for safety.

According to an eye witness, Terkaa Saasongu, who spoke to The Guardian on Telephone, the presence of the Soldiers in their community unannounced reminds them of the Zaki Biam massacre of 2001, where Soldiers rounded up and killed villagers in their thousands unprovoked, under the pretext that their colleagues where also killed by some youths in the community.

“What is happening in Gbishe community now seem like an imminent invasion of our community by military men, they came in at about 5:00am this yesterday morning in about 15 trucks.

They have blocked the Katsina-Ala-Takum road, which serves as the entrance point into Taraba State from Benue. Our fear is that the Zaki BIam incidence is still fresh in our minds”, he said.

Meanwhile, the Niger State government has set up a three Man committee to investigate the clash. The state commissioner of information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Jonathan Tsado Vatsa, while briefing newsmen after the emergency Security Council meeting said government has directed an extensive investigation into the remote and immediate cause(s) of the unfortunate incident.


The military invasion of communities across the country, has however, not gone down well with traditional rulers in the South-South zone, who have called on the Federal Government to withdraw troops from the Niger Delta region.

The President of the South-South Chiefs and Council of Elders (SSCE), Dr Abdulwahab Udosen, in an interview in Abuja, said the Federal Government should not adopt forceful measures against the Niger Delta militants in a bid to quell the violent attacks on oil and gas installations in the area.

Udosen said that the South-South region was not a war zone, noting that the people also love peace but that the situation in the area led to some challenges that warranted the soldiers.




  • Basil Ogbanufe

    Is Nigeria at war with itself? Is the federal government at war with its peoples? Can peace be achieved through force?

    • Nsiegbe Iwezor

      Why is NIGERIAN democracy different from those that brought it to us .

      • Basil Ogbanufe

        The Americans created their own democracy to suit them. This is the same with the British, Germans, French and other adamc. As for Nigeria, 1, it is not a nation. 2, Nigerians are not a people. 3, Nigeria should be divided along its pre1914 boundaries.

  • Akin Malaolu

    The rates of BLATANT CRIMES committed with absolute impunity are enough for the spreads of enforcement agencies to curb THREATS to National unity and cohesion.
    The idea behind a government is the creation of the Society so that our lives are ordered to obey laws and not dwell in absolute liberty to commit crimes at all times.

    • igboham

      I agree because in your brain man is made for the law. Go ahead every one.

    • Sitanda

      Always offpoint

    • Izedomi Ohirein

      I can not trust Nigerian Army with our democracy. They are undisciplined & corrupt.
      They should be confined to NE & parts of SS where their are genuine treat to Nigerian existence
      Nigerian Police could handle Biafra miscreants, armed robbers, Oil thieves & Fulani herdsmen.

    • Osanebi Osakuni

      You are a rare human being if you applaud these harassments without a single arrest of Fulani citizens that are killing and rapping in central and southern communities in Nigeria including your village if truly you are a Yoruba.

  • Daniel Dalon

    How come the no soldier has been deployed to combat Fulani herdsmen who come in the night and round up christian villagers and murder them?

  • efada acha

    this is totally unfair.the government knows every farming community are now in self defence against the fulani herdsmen and the government plan is to disarm them so that the fulani can have a field day.

  • bobo

    Such is the change the people voted for!

    • Tony Oshea

      Precisely my point,a CHANGE from civil democracy to quasi-military dictatorship. Deploying soldiers all over Nigeria without the NASS endorsement, which altimately will result in total Militarization of Nigeria’s democracy.

  • igboham

    30 states so far 6 more to go then the conquest by the Fulani will be complete as Ahmadu Bello and Balewa told every one on record. I like it because some of us grew up to warn others. Sai Buhari – Bring on the Sharia.

  • CEO

    Now the solution to insecurity is the deployment of soldiers in the villages. Is this not going to exacerbate the problem than become a solution? How can these mostly uneducated and undisciplined elements who are trained to kill be entrusted with maintaining peace and order? What were the citizens experiences in the past, when these soldiers were all over the place? Was it not more extortions and killings of innocent people in the name of maintaining security? So kidnapping and armed robbery has overwhelmed the various anti crime and special operations units of the police, to the point that soldiers are now to the rescue? Have they become so redundant to the point where policing the villages is the most they can do? How can these same soldiers who are owed months of unpaid salaries be expected not to engage in, and abate the same criminal activities they’ve been charged with tackling? One can argue that the police is corrupt from top to bottom and have become ineffective. But is this not where reorganization and training is required. We must not forget that the soldiers are no different either. We must be guided by past experiences, and even the latest, where soldiers attempted broad daylight robbery of the IDP relief supplies in the northeast. Does the new IGP not see this as an affront and his exposure as incompetent? The new sheriff in town is nothing to write home about. With the number of police officers and men we have, there is absolutely no need to involve the soldiers in community policing. If this government is serious about fighting corruption and instilling discipline, it would have started with the armed forces. Unless there is more to this than meets the eye, the police should be urgently reorganized, given adequate training, equipped and mobilized to do the job. This idea of dumping the soldiers all over, to feed off the starving masses is disaster in the making.

  • ukoette ibekwe

    Buhari has gradually succeeded in another coup that has seen the return of military regime in Nigeria.

  • abodes_124

    the drum beat gets louder.

  • bigbang

    I support the deployment as long as the military. Don’t harass innocent people.

  • Slim Bashir

    Nigerians are one kind of people who you can never satisfy, There has been cries from so many communities of armed bandits attacking them. Now the govt has responded to their cries and deployed the military but the same communities are criticizing the decision, Na wa wo. May God help us.

  • Osanebi Osakuni

    Islamization scene 1, act 2

  • Altold

    The presence of soldiers signals trouble for Nigerians, please, send them back to the barracks; deploy Police if you like, that is a Civil Force.

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