- The Nigerian Army reportedly invaded a community in Benue following the lynching of a soldier by residents
- The soldiers allegedly set houses and properties on fire
- Some suspects have been arrested by a team dispatched from the unit to the scene of the incident
The Nigerian Army has spoken about the reported invasion of soldiers into a community in Benue, saying it occurred after a soldier was killed by residents.
NAIJ.com had reported that a soldier was killed and buried in a shallow grave in Naka, Gwer local government area of the state.
According to Premium Times, some soldiers invaded the community in a reprisal attack and set fire to houses and properties.
Francis Ayagah, chairman of the local government, admitted that a soldier was killed in the community on Wednesday, April 18, but said he had been in touch with the commander of the troops, who were stationed near the town.
It was claimed that residents took the soldier for a criminal when they saw him around a farmland and lynched him to death.
Olabisi Ayeni who is a spokesperson for the Nigerian Army 707 Special Forces Brigade in Makurdi, identified the slain soldier as Danlami Gambo.
He said: “On 18 April 2018, at about 3:30 pm, troops of 707 Sf Brigade deployed at Naka in Gwer West LGA of Benue State observed the absence of PTE Danlami Gambo from his duty post. The soldier’s rifle was however found at the location.
“It was gathered that the soldier was last seen receiving a phone call but left in search of network and did not return. Troops immediately conducted patrols to search for the soldier during the search, at about 6.10 pm, our troops observed blood stains along a footpath leading to a newly dug grave.
“They immediately dug out the grave and the dead body of the missing soldier was found butchered. The corpse was later exhumed and deposited at the Nigerian Air Force mortuary, Makurdi.
“Preliminary investigation reveals that some locals were involved in the killing of the soldier which has led to the arrest of some suspects by a team dispatched from the unit to the scene of the incident.”
Kenneth Kwaghhemba who resides in the community said residents were fleeing for fear of being attacked by gunmen after soldiers deserted the place.
He said: “The soldiers have left and many people are running away from the town because there’s nobody to protect them from attacks by gunmen.
“The situation had been made worse by the withdrawal of police special forces from the community following a clash between the officers and commercial motorcyclists a few weeks ago. Only a few mobile police officers are here now. But they are not cooperating with the people and there is not much that they could do if there is any attack.”
NAIJ.com had reported that some angry Nigerian soldiers reportedly stormed a community in Benue state and set houses ablaze.
The soldiers stormed Naka, the seat of Gwer west local government area, at about 11:00 am and began burning houses to the apprehension of residents, Francis Ayagah, chairman of the local government told newsmen by telephone on Thursday, April 19.
Soldier shares battleground experience, dedicates song to colleagues - On NAIJ.com TV