The Nigerian Army has denied that its troops killed a vigilante member in Edo State and freed a herdsman, insisting that there was no herdsman involved in an incident that involved their troops in the state.
A statement by Mohammed Maidawa, Captain, Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, said that the troops responded to a tip off concerning a robbery and that the circumstances surrounding the engagement that led to the death of a vigilante member is being investigated.
Full text of the statement reads:
The attention of the Headquarters 4 Brigade Nigerian Army has been drawn to a malicious story going round mainstream and Social Media alleging that soldiers killed a vigilante and released a suspected herdsmen. Ordinarily, one could have dismissed it without responding, but for the ethnic undertone attached to the false story.
We wish to state that the story is not correct as no suspected detained herdsman was set free as being reported in the media. Therefore it is important to put the record straight. In the early hours of 14 February, 2018, our soldiers deployed at Ologbo for pipelines protection received a tip off from locals of robbery incidence. Acting on the information, our troops swiftly moved to the area and sighted armed men. Our troops fired a warning shot and the armed men responded with gunshots. The Soldiers returned fire towards same direction of fire. However, on reaching the scene, they discovered a dead body along side cartridges and a cutlass. The body was taken to the nearest police station and was later identified as a vigilante member. It was however unclear, whether it was the vigilantes that were reported to be the armed robbers or they were called for the same purpose of checkmating the reported armed robbery activity. However, an investigation is ongoing to unravel the truth. While we commiserate with the family of the deceased, we call on well meaning Nigerians not to believe the erroneous story that the vigilante was deliberately killed or an imaginary herdsman released. We also call on media and all well meaning Nigerians to always reflect the true account of what transpired instead of rushing to post. The Nigerian Army is a professional organization that will continue to maintain its neutrality in the conduct of internal security in aid to civil authorities.
Read more at: https://prnigeria.com/security/army-investigate-murder-vigilante/