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Peter Obi Reacts To Closure Of Banex Plaza In Abuja

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The 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, has condemned the closure of Banex Plaza in Abuja by the Nigerian Army.

Recall that a fracas occurred last Saturday at the popular business plaza between some military personnel and traders.

Following the development, the Nigerian Army closed down the phone market for a week over the assault on its officers.

In a statement via his official X handle on Saturday, Obi said the incident and its aftermath is another manifestation of the growing tension and intolerance in the nation.

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He expressed concern about the present state of unease and growing tension between civilians and security operatives, especially the military.

Obi said the cases of clashes between civilians and security officials is connected with the stressful situation in the country due to economic hardship, insecurity and spiralling poverty.

The former Governor of Anambra State, therefore, urged the immediate reopening of the business plaza for business activities.

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He added that the reopening should be followed by dialogue and renewed confidence-building initiatives to avert a repeat of the incident.

He wrote: “The fracas that occurred last Saturday at the vibrant Banex Plaza business area in Abuja between some military personnel and traders has led to a one-week closure of the ever busy business precinct.

“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.

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“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 spiralling 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.

“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.

“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.

“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.

Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows.