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Army: Why some soldiers opened fire at Maiduguri airport

The Nigerian army has reacted to the protest staged by some of its men at the Maiduguri international airport in Borno state on Sunday evening.

Gidipoint had reported how some soldiers threatened to shoot their superiors over a redeployment exercise.

The aggrieved soldiers had kicked against the deployment, asking why they were not sent back to their families after over three years in Borno state.

In a statement on Monday, Onyema Nwachukwu, deputy director of army public relations, said the exercise was based on a directive to review troops’ deployment and “reinvigorate the security architecture of the city”.

“The redeployment became expedient after a recent assessment of the security situation by the theatre command,” he said.

“Regrettably however, a few of the troops who had misunderstood the development and erroneously assumed it was going to negatively affect their rotation from the theatre of operation became agitated and reacted by firing into the air.

“Calm has however been restored, as the theatre commander, Major General Abba Dikko has promptly taken charge of the situation after addressing and admonishing the troops.

“The theatre command undoubtedly considers this ugly incident quite regrettable and appropriate measures are being taken to forestall a recurrence.

“Members of the general public are please enjoined to remain calm and go about their normal activities as the situation has been put under firm control.”

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