Police killing: Nigerian Army directs military personnel to avoid traveling in uniform

Police killing: Nigerian Army directs military personnel to avoid traveling in uniform

- Soldiers have been advised to be cautious in their dealings with members of the Police Force

- The directive comes as anger intensified over the killing of three police officers in Taraba state last week

- Soldiers have been advised to avoid travelling in uniform if necessary to prevent the situation from escalating

Following the killing of three police officers by soldiers of the 93 Battalion of the Nigerian Army in Taraba state, the Nigerian Army has issued an advisory for all troops.

The Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, has directed soldiers to tread carefully in their dealings with police officers in the coming weeks, Premium Times reports.

Buratai, in a letter dated August 9 and copied to Army formations nationwide, also admonished travelling military personnel to do so in mufti if necessary in order to avoid confrontations with policemen.

The letter, with reference number AHQDAIOPS/G3/240/232 and written on behalf of the COAS by Brig. Gen. F. Omoigui, was titled, ‘Need for troops to be circumspect in dealing with members of the Nigeria Police.’

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The Army chief accused the police of making inflammatory comments on social media which according to him, are capable of inciting the rank and file of the Nigeria Police to “exhibit aggressive tendencies" against Nigerian Army personnel.

Felix Omoigui, a brigadier-general who circulated the alert on behalf of Buratai, said: "Formations and unit commanders are to educate troops to be cautious in their dealings” with police officers in the aftermath of the killings.

The Intelligence Response Team of the Police, led by ASP Felix Adolije, who were on a covert operation to nab a suspected kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Wadume, had come under attack from soldiers along Ibi-Jalingo Road.

Three officers — Inspector Mark Ediale, Sergeants Usman Danzumi and Dahiru Musa, as well as a civilian were shot dead, while others sustained gunshot wounds during the August 6 incident. The suspect was also set free by the soldiers incident.

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Thought the Nigerian Army admitted soldiers killed the police officers, it claimed that the soldiers fired at the IRT team because they failed to stop at three checkpoints.

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However, this was dismissed by the police which demanded the whereabouts of the kidnap suspect who was allegedly set free by the soldiers. It expressed disappointment that soldiers would set free a man that had been on detectives’ radar for several years before they finally had a chance to take him into custody.

Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that President Muhammadu Buhari called for calm amongst the services and urged a thorough investigation of the violence.

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