An unjustified attack on troops and patrol vehicles was vehemently denounced by the Nigerian Army following a recent protest along Lafia-Makurdi Road in Nasarawa State.

According to reports, the demonstrators had stopped the major roadway in reaction to the decision made by the state’s Court of Appeal on the gubernatorial election.

According to a statement issued by the army and signed by Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, Director of Army Public Relations, the protesters’ decision to block a major highway caused motorists to experience tortuous traffic gridlock and assault troops’ patrol vehicles. The army is deeply concerned and disappointed by these actions.

Regrettably, the same group of demonstrators who damaged military vehicles on official business then falsely claimed that the convoy of soldiers had crashed into them.

The video footage and visual photographs of the protest show that the army expertly dispersed the mob while safeguarding public facilities and civilians. Let it be said that the Nigerian Army acknowledges and upholds the right of civilians to peacefully protest and express their complaints. Still, it bears stressing that these demonstrations ought to be lawful and carried out in a way that protects everyone.

Violence, vandalism, and attacks on security personnel are completely inappropriate and contradict the values of nonviolent protest.

All residents, including the demonstrators and public infrastructure, should feel protected, which is why our forces were sent out to keep the peace.

Their major goal was to keep the calm and avoid any further escalation of violence, therefore they were acting under stringent rules of engagement.

“The demonstrators’ act of attacking patrol vehicles and throwing stones at troops jeopardized the lives of our personnel and discredited the protest’s peaceful intent.”

The Army has issued a strong call for all protesters to calm down and work together in a positive way.

Violence, the Nigerian Army said, would make things worse and prevent people from working together to address their problems.

It is imperative that all parties involved—including community and religious leaders—do what they can to foster an environment of peace and harmony.

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