Calm Returns to Maiduguri After Soldiers’ Protest

Quiet has been restored at the Maiduguri International Airport after a protest by soldiers of the Special Strike Forces deployed in Operation Lafiya Dole on Sunday.

There was tension in the north-eastern state weekend as soldiers fired gunshots in the air at the airport in protest over their new posting to Marte, a Local Government in Northern Borno State.

One of the soldiers who spoke to Channels said they embarked on the protest because the redeployment was in breach of a directive by the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai.

He said they reported for duty in February 2015, stressing that a military circular from the Chief of Army Staff had clearly stated that no soldier should on any account be kept beyond three years in the North East region of the country.

But in a statement signed on Monday by the Deputy Director Public Relations of the Theatre Command operation Lafiya Dole, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, the Army said it had become necessary to review the troops’ deployment in a bid to reinvigorate the security architecture of the city.

Nwachukwu noted that calm has been restored, as the Theatre Commander, Major General Abba Dikko, promptly took charge of the situation after addressing the troops.

“The Theatre Command undoubtedly considers this ugly incident quite regrettable and appropriate measures are being taken to forestall a recurrence,” he added.

The army then called on members of the public to remain calm and go about their normal activities without fear.

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