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Reopen Banex immediately- Obi tells Nigeria Army



Democracy Day: Nigeria is not democratic- Peter Obi

Former presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has called on Nigeria Army to immediately reopen Banex Plaza in Wuse 2, Abuja.


Obi said closure of Banex Plaza after the conflict between civilians and military personnel, for one week would not bring solution to the conflict.


He said the fracas between the soldiers and civilians at Banex Plaza was caused by economic situation of the country on the civilian citizens and the soldiers.


Obi said Nigerian soldiers are overstretched, deeply upset and agitated just like other civilians grappling with poverty, hardship and tough economy.


The former governor of Anambra said, “This incident and its disruptive aftermath is yet another manifestation of the growing tension and intolerance in our nation. It is a matter of grave concern about the present state of unease and growing tension between civilians and our security operatives, especially the military.


“The recent increase in the frequency of these brushes cannot be unconnected with the stressful situation in the country due to economic hardship, insecurity and spiraling poverty. Already our security operatives are overstretched, deeply upset and agitated like the rest of the populace. Whatever may have triggered this particular friction and violence, the recourse to vandalism and violence cannot serve both civilians and the military well.


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“An indefinite closure of the business premises is not a wise option. It will deepen the present hardship both for the traders and business owners as well as the general public whom they serve.”


He added that the “economic implications of the prolonged closure of such a vibrant business environment are far-reaching considering the number of people whose livelihoods depend largely on the day-to-day activities at the plaza.”


He further called on the leadership of Nigeria Army to take steps toward addressing the reoccurring conflicts between civilians and soldiers.


“Both the government and military authorities should be concerned about the growing friction between civilians and security personnel and take the necessary steps to end it.


“In every country troops are loved by the people because of the critical role they play in protecting and ensuring peace in the land. I desire no less for our dear country.


“I would like therefore to urge the immediate reopening of the plaza for business activities. This should be followed by dialogue and renewed confidence building initiatives to avert a repeat,” he added.