10 December 2008

Nigeria: Hoodlums Stab Soldiers Over N30 Ticket

Akure — HOODLUMS, numbering six, have stabbed a soldier, Lance Corporal Suleiman Yakubu, attached to the 323 Artillery Regiment, Owena Barracks, Akure, over a scuffle on the payment of N30 ticket union due.

Lance Corporal Yakubu, attached to Army's Cafeteria, was reportedly stabbed with broken bottles by hoodlums suspected to be members of Okada Motorcycles Operators in the state over the non payment of N30 ticket.

In a swift reaction, the Commanding Officer (CO) Artillery Regiment, Lt. Colonel Muili Folorunso, has cried out over the incessant attack of soldiers in his command by civilians in the last three months.

Folorunso, who spoke with newsmen in Akure, said, in the last three months, six soldiers had been attacked, with two of them seriously wounded and four others humiliated.

Vanguard gathered that the soldier was sent on an errand to buy fish from the market, only to be accosted by the hoodlums who were desperate to collect money from him.

Narrating his ordeal to newsmen on his sick bed at the Medical Reception Station (MRS) in Owena Barracks, Suleiman, who had bruises all over his body said "I was sent by my superior officer to buy fish and when I got to a junction near Olukayode shopping complex at Oja-Oba area, some okada operators, numbering about six, flagged me down and asked me to pay Union's levy".

"I told them that I am a soldier and not an okada operator but they refused to listen and one of them pulled out the key from my motorcycle".

Despite my repeated pleadings that I am a soldier, one of them pulled out a bottle, broke it and stabbed me, leaving me in the pool of my blood while others fled."

The Commanding Officer said that the soldier was rushed back to the barracks after the assault by the civilians.

According to him "It is unfortunate that civilians are constantly attacking soldiers in Akure, I have reported the case to Governor Olusegun Agagu through the Security Council, the Police Commissioner and the Local Government Chairman.

"Soldiers as disciplined officers will not take laws into their hands; hence, I am telling the whole world of this development, these frequent attacks of soldiers is worrisome.

He pointed out that 13 suspects have been arrested and are currently being interrogated by the police in the state.

The CO added that the matter would be pursued to Court in conformity with due process, and rule of law.

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