Sowore Denounces Army’s Banex Plaza Closure as Unjustifiable Rights Violation

Omoyele Sowore, a prominent human rights activist, has strongly denounced the Nigerian Army’s decision to close the Banex Plaza, describing it as a disproportionate response and an infringement on the rights of civilians.

Sowore, who shared the post on in Facebook page which he tagged ,”MY RESPONSE TO THE HQ Nigerian Army CLOSURE OF BANEX PLAZA IN ABUJA”, he argued that such an extreme measure is unprecedented, even under military rule, and has severe consequences for the thousands of workers and businesses affected.

“It is unheard of, even under military rule, that civilian spaces would be shut down in a business that employs thousands over a disagreement between soldiers and civilians.”, he wrote.

Furthermore, Sowore urged the Army to prohibit military personnel not on active duty from wearing uniforms, as many have been implicated in criminal activities. He also criticized the military’s recent actions in Delta State, which resulted in the destruction of Okuama village, as well as the continued repression of journalists and civilians.

Concluding his statement, Sowore called for an immediate end to the military’s repressive actions, emphasizing that the current situation is unacceptable and must be addressed as part of the ongoing push for change.

“The Nigerian army should stop military men who are not on active duties from putting on uniforms, so many of these military men have been caught red handed engaging in heinous crimes.

“Recently, the Nigerian Army leveled Okuama village in Delta state, and now you’re using the might of the military to shut down commercial activities in a matter that is purely a civil matter; military men have abducted journalists and arbitrarily engaged in repression and now they are shutting down markets at will, it is unacceptable.

“These acts of repression must stop immediately! #RevolutionNow”

Earlier reports had revealed that following a clash between traders and military police personnel at Banex Plaza in Abuja, the Nigerian Army Corps of Military Police had launched a retaliatory attack on civilians in the area. The incident began when a confrontation between four military police officers and traders escalated into a brawl at the electronics and telecommunications market on Saturday.

Despite the FCT Commissioner of Police, Bennet Igweh, intervening to diffuse the situation, the army returned to the plaza later that day, assaulting passersby and security guards in an apparent act of reprisal. On Monday morning, the army further escalated the situation by arresting individuals allegedly involved in the earlier altercation and shutting down the entire plaza.

The incident has sparked outrage among human rights activists and community members, who are calling for accountability and an end to the military’s use of excessive force against civilians.


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