The federal government has ordered the deployment of troops to Nasarawa State, in order to prevent further escalation of the ethnic militia violence being experienced in the state, as well as ensure it does not spread to other parts of the state.
Disclosing this yesterday at a press conference at the Army Headquarters in Abuja, Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, stated that the deployment of troops to the warring communities had helped in curbing the spread of violence by the Ombatse and other ethnic militia groups in the state.
He stressed that both the federal government and the state government were exploring other ways of ensuring sustainable peace and stability in the area.
“Due to the heightened security situation in Nassarawa state, the federal government has ordered the deployment of troops in aid to civil authority in order to prevent further escalation of the violence and its spread to other parts of the state.
“It is gratifying to note that the deployment of Nigerian Army troops to the violence prone area has helped in curbing the spread of violence by the Ombatse and other ethnic militia groups in Nasarawa State. The Federal and Nassarawa State Governments are exploiting other ways of ensuring the quick return to normalcy,” Attahiru said.
The DAPR also noted that in its bid to instill discipline and professionalism among troops, the Army Headquarters had directed the General officer Commanding (GOC), 3 Division Nigeria, Maj-Gen. Ebiobowei Awala, to set up a General Court Martial (GCM) for the trial of nine erring officers and soldiers at Rhino Officers Mess, Maxwell Khobe Cantonment in Jos, Plateau State for various offences.
He said the offences allegedly committed by the officers include manslaughter, using of threatening, abusive or provocative words or behaviour to cause disturbances and fighting.
Reacting to the report credited to an online news outfit that 40 soldiers were killed with 65 others missing, Attahiru insisted that the report should be disregarded.
He therefore advised that the media ought to get across to the army headquarters on all matters of Nigerian Army and its activities in the North-east.
“I wish to seize this opportunity to request members of the press to clarify all reports from the Directorate of Army relations before going to the press. You could reach us on our e-mail addresses and dedicated telephone numbers. Anything to the contrary would be tantamount to giving oxygen to terrorism and creating undue fear amongst Nigerians,” he said.