Army Will Sanction Soldiers Involved In Banex Incident If Found Culpable – Lagbaja

Army Will Sanction Soldiers Involved In Banex Incident If Found Culpable – Lagbaja

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The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, has assured Nigerians that soldiers involved in a recent incident at Banex Plaza in Abuja will be sanctioned if they are found to be culpable.

The military had taken over the plaza for several days after an alleged attack on its personnel by civilians on Saturday, May 18, 2024. Lagbaja said the army is still investigating the incident.

Recall that the popular Banex Plaza in Abuja, a hub for electronics and telecommunications gadgets, has been under heavy military presence since a clash between traders and soldiers on Saturday. The aftermath of the incident has resulted in a debilitating military presence that has paralyzed the entire plaza, disrupting the livelihoods of countless individuals and businesses.

Witnesses report that the clash began when two soldiers visited the plaza to complain about a phone, which led to an argument with the traders and a subsequent fight. Viral videos circulating on social media showed men overpowering and beating the soldiers in uniform inside the complex.

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The military has formed a barricade around the perimeter of the plaza, leaving shop owners, banks, and traders out of business. Attempts by a Roots TV crew to speak with the traders were unsuccessful, as the soldiers quickly dispersed any gatherings near the area. Additional enforcement personnel arrived on the scene, further intensifying the military presence.

Many Nigerians have criticized the military’s heavy-handedness, suggesting that it could be due to Banex Plaza being a vital business hub operated by citizens from the eastern part of the country. The closure of the plaza on a major business day like Monday has exacerbated the situation, with traders lamenting the implications of the shutdown.
As of Monday, the plaza remains under lock and key, with traders assembling at a distance from the barricaded area, fearing arrest or harassment from the soldiers. The situation has left many wondering when normalcy will be restored to the once-bustling electronics market.

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