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Nigerian Army Reacts As Soldiers Are Accused Of Killing Illegal Gold Miners In Katsina State Over Bribe

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Nigerian Army Reacts As Soldiers Are Accused Of Killing Illegal Gold Miners In Katsina State Over Bribe

The Nigerian Army has debunked a report claiming some soldiers in Katsina State killed some illegal miners over disagreement on money to be paid as bribe to them.

The Army also denied that there was any form of altercation between its troops and the illegal miners in Magama village on 5 January 2022.

The Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu who made the denial in a statement on Sunday added that the soldiers deployed to the North East are not involved in mining activities as their focus is to crush bandits, terrorists, and other criminals in the region.

He, therefore, urged members of the public to disregard the report as fake news which is capable of demoralizing the troops.

Naija News reports the statement by Nwachukwu comes as a reaction to publication by an online news medium which claimed that 2 soldiers and 7 illegal miners were killed during a gun duel, arising from a disagreement over gold nuggets in Magama village in Jibia LGA of Katsina State.

The platform claimed that the incident occurred when the soldiers turned down an initially agreed offer of 500,000 naira 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.

The Nigerian Army in its reaction however refuted the claims, rather submitting that the “story is baseless, unfounded, untrue and a mere figment of the writer’s imagination, aimed at tarnishing the reputation of the Nigerian Army, as no Nigerian soldier was killed, nor involved in any skirmish with illegal miners in Magama village on 5 January 2022.”

It added that “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. This is certainly not what the troops require at this critical time.

“The general public are therefore urged to disregard the fake news as it is concocted to denigrate Nigerian Army troops, who are working tirelessly to ensure sanity and peace return to the North west region. We assure the general public of the unrelenting commitment of our troops to decisively tackle the banditry menace in the North West.”



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