Nigerian Soldiers Storm Abuja Market After Traders Clash With Colleagues


On Saturday evening, members of the Nigerian Army Corps of Military Police forcefully entered Banex Plaza in Abuja, assaulting pedestrians and taking over security duties.

The assault on civilians was a reprisal for an earlier free-for-all that broke out between four military police personnel and some traders at the popular electronics and telecommunications gadget market earlier on Saturday.

The soldiers’ attacks on civilians and show-of-force by the military police came a few hours after the FCT Commissioner of Police, Bennet Igweh, settled the scuffle between the soldiers and the traders at the police command.

Sources who pleaded anonymity because they were not authorised to speak told our correspondent that operatives of the FCT Police Command had earlier arrested the four MP soldiers alongside the traders involved in the fight.

The matter was settled, and the MP soldiers were later handed over to the military authorities.

A source said, “The four military police soldiers and the traders involved in the fight that broke out at Banex were earlier brought to the FCT Police Command, and the CP settled the matter and handed over the soldiers to the military.”

Videos circulating on social media revealed that some soldiers stormed Banex Plaza following the earlier scuffle.

One of the videos revealed citizens and traders running as some soldiers arrived at the scene. Another video showed the soldiers punishing some individuals.
Meanwhile, a trader who simply identified himself as Abdul had earlier told our correspondent on Saturday that the conflict ensued over the sale of a mobile phone.

“There’s a problem at Banex now. Some soldiers came to complain about a phone, and during an argument with the traders, a fight ensued,”
 Abdul simply revealed.

Confirming the development, the FCT Police Command, in a statement by its spokesperson, Josephine Adeh, on Saturday night, said the police had restored peace in the affected area.

Adeh said, “Following reported unrest at Bannex Plaza today being May 18, 2024, at about 1.30pm, involving some occupants of the plaza, customers and some soldiers, operatives of the FCT police command, swiftly mobilized to scene, assessed the situation and restored order.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that one Suleiman Ahmed who had earlier gotten a phone from one Suleiman Ibrahim, a shop owner at New Bannex, went with four soldiers to persuade the seller for replacement upon discovery that the phone is faulty, which met the resistance of the shop owner.

“This action resulted in a confrontation and squabble with the military personnel. This development led some irate mobs to attack the military personnel which led to an uproar in the environs.

“All parties were invited for questioning, the military personnel have been handed over to their organisation for necessary action to be taken.

“While normalcy has since been restored in Bannex and its environs, the Commissioner of Police FCT, Benneth Igweh urges residents to peacefully go about their lawful businesses without fear from any quarters.”

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