Fred Itua, Abuja
Some activists have called on the leadership of the Nigerian Army to apologise to Nigerians over the killing of three policemen by soldiers in Taraba State.
National coordinator of Advocates of People Rights and Justice, Mr. Victor Giwa, in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja yesterday, said rather than grandstand, the Army should tender an apology.
Mr. Giwa said: “Members of our group received with shock, the report of the killing of three officers of the Nigeria Police and a civilian by officers of the 93 Battalion of the Nigeria Army, in Ibi- Janingo Road, Taraba State.
“The report from the press release of the Nigerian Army shows that the slain officers were believed to be members of the gang of kidnappers, who according to the Army, refused to stop at the mounted checkpoint of the Soldiers.
“The report further stated that the said Police occupied vehicle open fire at the soldiers and the soldiers responded leading to the killing of some of the occupants of the vehicle which included the some police officers and some civilians.
“While we are aware of the Panel setup to investigate the incidents, which is currently ongoing, we believe that the Nigeria Army should as an organised and responsible institution apologise to Nigerians and the people of Taraba State, for this ugly incident which is now viewed as an operational mistake on the part of the Army.
“This should be the immediate response of the Army at the discovery that the turn of event has shown that the facts were not as correct as the soldiers had believed it to be at the time of their reaction.
“The members of the families of the deceased are in terrible pain and trauma for the loss of their wards in such an avoidable situation.
“We believed that a public apology from the Army in the main time will assuage public outcry, as we await the final outcome of the investigation.”