Army denies killing Aba traders in Aba Operation Python Dance
The Nigerian Army has denied media reports that some soldiers of the 144 Battalion on routine patrol shot on traders and killed one in a market in Aba, Abia State.
It warned that the Army would not spare any group that confronted troops on lawful and legitimate duty anywhere in the country.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, had last week directed heads of formations to deal ruthlessly with any group that could pose threats to the conduct of the forthcoming elections in the country, referring particularly to members of the Indigenous People of Biafra.
The leader of the separatist group, Nnamdi Kanu, had in his recent broadcast, directed his followers to boycott the elections and went ahead to fix February 16 for a referendum for Biafra Republic.
Since then, soldiers had been reportedly molesting Igbo youths especially in Aba, Abia State where some persons were said to have been shot and one killed.
But the Army in a statement signed by the Deputy Director, Public Relations, 82 Division, Col. Sagir Musa, said the report was not true and intended to portray Nigerian soldiers in bad light.
Although Sagir accepted that there was an incident involving 144 Battalion patrol team and some traders at Asa – Nnentu spare parts market in Ugwunagbo Local Government Area of Abia State, however, there was at no time anybody was shot at, wounded or killed.
He said that six members of the proscribed IPOB were arrested and handed over to the Nigeria Police, Abia State Command for prosecution.