The Nigerian Army has debunked allegations that it’s extorting and harassing transporters and travellers in Edo.
In a viral video on Saturday, vehicular activities were grounded to a halt on Agbor-Benin road in protest against alleged collection of ₦1000 from luxury buses plying the route
Reacting to the video, the army described the allegation of extortion as untrue, saying it was an attempt to tarnish the reputation of the military.
In a statement on Monday by Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.- General Mohammed Yerima, the army averred that happenings in the video is a deliberate misinterpretation of fact.
Yerima explained that it was also alleged in the said video that commotion ensued following an allegation that transporters refused to pay the illegal toll.
Yerima said analysis of the video and several confirmatory enquiries of the video revealed that it was a deliberate orchestration of falsehood
He said, while the Nigerian Army acknowledges the right of Nigerians to hold and share opinions, especially on social media, it shouldn’t be used to spread deliberate lies.
Yerima said, “A situation where deliberate misrepresentation of facts and fabrication of outright falsehood is being orchestrated in the social media to tarnish the image and reputation of the military is not and should not be acceptable.”
The army spokesperson said that there was the imposition of a statewide curfew by the Edo government following the aftermath of the End SARs protest, adding that the order had yet to be reviewed.
Yerima said it was to the curfew that motorists usually park a few meters away from the checkpoint mounted by soldiers and await the opening of the road by 05:00hrs daily.
He said that the issue of the road closure has been a long time problem with night time commercial drivers who insisted that the road, being a federal road, isn’t under the jurisdiction of the government of Edo.
Yerima said, “The isolated protest happened on February 17 at about 2230hrs.
“This situation was brought under control professionally by troops who were conscious of the rules of engagement and code of conduct for internal security operations.”
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: