The Commandant, Nigeria Army School of Military Engineering, Makurdi, Maj.-Gen. Bamidele Ogunkale, has apologised to Governor Samuel Ortom for soldiers’ attack on a community in North Bank on August 15.
We had reported here that 39 soldiers from NASME attacked the Hausa-dominated community at the weekend because a girl courted by one of them was given out in marriage to another man. The rampaging soldiers also reportedly vandalised over 100 vehicles and made away with mobile phones, TV set, radio and other personal effects belonging to residents of the community.
Tendering the apology during a courtesy call on the governor at the Peoples House, Makurdi, on Wednesday, Gen. Ogunkale said he had already instituted a commission of inquiry, headed by the Deputy Commandant, to investigate the circumstances that led to the incidence and assured that perpetrators would be punished.
The commandant maintained that the army would collaborate with other security agencies to forestall the re-occurrence of such ugly incidence in the state.
He also announced the cancellation of plans to relocate the Nigerian Army Institute of Technology and Environmental Studies, NAITES, and urged the people to patronise the institution.
Ogunkale appealed to the state government to provide logistics to the school to enable it resume pumping of water to the neighboring community.
In his response, Ortom said that the state government was compiling a comprehensive report on the crises and would forward it to the president for necessary action.
He advised the military to always operate within the ambit of the law, adding that two “wrongs do not make a right”. Ortom expressed satisfaction with the commandant’s peace building efforts, and appealed for its sustainability.
He said even though things were tight financially, he would provide the assistance which the commandant requested.