Nigerian Army charges soldiers to be of good conduct, following death of police officers

IN a bid to forestall clashes with police personnel, the Nigerian army issued directives to soldiers to guide their conduct after the death of three policemen by soldiers in Taraba state.

Felix Omoigui, a brigadier-general, in a letter signed on behalf of the chief of army staff, Tukur Buratai directed its personnel to be cautious in their approach when dealing with police officers.

“In the aftermath of the unfortunate incident involving troops of 93 bn, Takum and members of the Intelligence Response Team of the NPF at Ibi LGA of Taraba State on August 6, 2019, inciting and inflammatory comments are being made by the NPF on the regular and social media platform,” the letter revealed.

In the letter circulated on Sunday evening, the army directed its personnel travelling with a pass, to be in mufti and circumspect in their conduct.

“This is capable of inciting the rank and file of the NP to exhibit aggressive tendencies against NA personnel. Accordingly, all troops on IS, Internal Security, duty as well as personnel travelling in and out of uniform are to be circumspect in their conduct to avoid escalation,” it reads.

    On August 6, police officers on a clandestine operation to arrest a suspected kidnap kingpin were attacked by soldiers from 93 Battalion who opened fire on them, killing three officers and a civilian on the spot.

    The police who identified the suspect as Hamisu Wadume, was disappointed that soldiers had set free a man that its detectives were trailing for several years before they got a chance to take him into custody.

    Although the army admitted that soldiers had attacked the police team which led to the death of the police officers and a civilian, it blamed the incident on poor intelligence and disclosed its readiness to cooperate with the investigation.

    “Consequently, formations and unit commanders are to educate troops to be cautious in their dealings with members of the Nigerian Police, NP, in view of this development,” it concludes.

    Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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