Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Troops, police deployed in Warri, environs

The Nation
10 January 2012

Dozens of Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) and several platoons of  soldiers  yesterday engaged in a show of force in the twin cities of Warri and Effurun in Delta State.

Over 20 APCs and 500 soldiers were involved in the military exercise.

Although the Joint Task Force (JTF), which deployed the soldiers, said it was to check Boko Haram and other security threats, there were indications that it was not unconnected with the nationwide strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

It was gathered that the troops combed the cities, ostensibly to scare protesters off the streets.

JTF spokesperson Lt Col Timothy Antigha, however, maintained that the heavy presence of military personnel was not “necessarily because of the NLC strike.”

Speaking in a telephone conversation, Antigha said the show of force was a routine military manoeuvre in line with prevailing security challenges.

Hear him: “Strike or no strike, we still would have done this.

“You are aware of recent happenings in the country, we just want to assure law-abiding citizens that their safety is our priority .”

 But the National Coordinator, Forum for Human Rights Defence, Oghenejabor Ikimi, said the troops deployment was to intimidate the NLC and other protesters.

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