Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Nigerian Army debunks alleged involvement of soldiers in Katsina gold mining skirmishes

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The Nigerian Army has debunked the alleged involvement of soldiers during a gun duel, arising from a disagreement over gold nuggets in Magama village in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State.

The Director, Army Public Relations, Onyema Nwachukwu, denied the allegation in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

Mr Nwachukwu said the publication in some media stated that the incident occurred when soldiers turned down an initially agreed offer of N500,000 per pit from the miners, but afterwards, turned around to demand more money on discovering the large quantum of gold nuggets found by the illegal miners in one of the pits.

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He said the story is baseless, unfounded, untrue and a mere figment of the writer’s imagination, aimed at tarnishing the reputation of the Nigerian Army.

According to him, no Nigerian soldier was killed, nor involved in any skirmish with illegal miners in Magama village on Jan. 5 as reported.

“Contrary to the insinuations peddled by the online medium, Nigerian Army troops deployed in the North West are committed and engrossed in the fight against banditry and other criminalities bedeviling that region.

“They are not permitted to participate in any form of mining, whether legitimate or illegitimate.

“Aside orchestrating disrepute, fake news as this have the potential to dampen the morale of the fighting troops, erode their fighting will and undermine the entire operations.

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“This is certainly not what the troops require at this critical time,” he said.

Mr Nwachukwu, however, urged the public to disregard the fake news, saying it was concocted to denigrate Nigerian army troops, who are working tirelessly to ensure that sanity and peace return to the North west region.

He also assured the general public of the unrelenting commitment of the troops to decisively tackle the banditry menace in the North West.


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