The authorities of the Nigerian Army have reacted to a story about soldiers shooting protesters at Dangote Sugar factory in Gyawana, Adamawa State, a report by SaharaReporters has shown.
A resident of Gyawana told SaharaReporters that soldiers, despatched for the illegal operation, were hired by the management of the sugar company to chase the protesters away.
SaharaReporters gathered that some people sustained injuries during the shooting.
A statement by the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, Major Haruna Mohammed Sani, of the 23 brigades Yola, claimed that its troops did not fire a shot directly at the protesters, but only fired warning shots.
The statement claimed that some of the soldiers sustained minor injuries from the stones thrown by the mob.
The statement reads, "The attention of Headquarters 23 Brigade Nigerian Army has been drawn to a mischievous Sahara Reporters story alleging soldiers opened fire on protesting staff of Dangote Sugar Company at Gyawana district under Lafiya Lamurde Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
"To give the proper perspective on the libelous narrative, this headquarters wishes to inform the general public that on 15 July, 2021 at about 2: 00 pm, the Gyawana community staged a protest against the management of Dangote Sugar Company threatening to shut down the establishment and abduct foreign expatriates for sacking some staff of the company who are members of the host community.
"Efforts to calm the situation by the Nigerian Police and personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence corps proved abortive as the irate youths, wielding cutlasses, machetes, and other dangerous weapons, overpowered them.
"When a distress call was made to an internal security outfit in Adamawa State nicknamed Operation Farauta, comprising soldiers and other para-military agencies, they swiftly mobilised and moved to reinforce the police and Civil Defence deployment at the location.
"In the process, tear gas as well as warning shots were fired as some of the non-violent means of crowd dispersal and to further prevent own troops from being lynched by the mob.
"Consequently, the situation was brought under control. Unfortunately, some soldiers sustained minor injuries from the stones thrown by the mob but no single protester was killed.
"The Nigerian Army is a professional and disciplined institution that operates within the purview of the constitution and in line with rules of engagement and Code of Conduct which serves as guides to troops in all military engagements."