Why Banex Plaza Must Remain Shut – Ex-Chief of Defence Staff

A former Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor (rtd), has defended the military action at Banex plaza in the Wuse 2 area of Abuja.

Daily Trust reports that the plaza has remained under lock and key days after thugs beat up some soldiers who had a disagreement with a trader.

Trouble started when thugs beat up some soldiers who had a disagreement with a trader in the plaza.

The trader had reportedly sold a bad phone to someone who invited soldiers. Rather than resolve the issue amicably, the trader reportedly invited thugs who assaulted the uniform men.

They descended on at least two soldiers and another man in mufti. The thugs who broke into groups slapped, kicked and beat up the soldiers.

Although the police stepped in to resolve the situation, soldiers later stormed the plaza, forcing traders to shut down immediately.

Reacting, Irabor, in an interview with ARISE news, described the incident as a very sad one.

He noted that if not for the policemen and some other private individuals who rescued the soldiers, the situation would have been worse.

The General said: “The Banex incident is a very sad one. Sad one in the sense that when you see a soldier in uniform whether armed or not….This applies to any uniformed person for as long as he is an agent of the state. An attack on him is an attack on the state, so any Nigerian of goodwill must condemn such an act.

“For me, I join to support the closure of Banex Plaza for as long as it takes to have anyone responsible for that dastardly act brought to justice. This is because if we fail to do so, we will be calling for anarchy.

“The only men who are sacrificing their lives to ensure our collective good are members of the armed forces, the police, and other security agencies.

“The media has created an awareness that in our civics, there are people you must respect. You have to put the context in setting the agenda for this discussion. The populace needs to be re-educated to understand the place of national security and the responsibility of each and every one of us in preserving the sanctity of our various establishments that seek to make us live in a very good environment.”

Irabor called for cooperation from the plaza’s leadership in the ongoing investigation so as to bring out the perpetrators of the crime to book.

“I believe Banex Plaza has leadership because they need to cooperate appropriately so that whatever investigation is ongoing can be concluded, and they must also cooperate by bringing out those who committed that act,” he said.

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