BREAKING: Nigerian Army Bows to Pressure, Reopens Abuja’s Banex Plaza

  • The Nigerian army has bowed to unrelenting pressure from the public to reopen a supermarket it sealed off
  • The army had the mall closed after some military personnel were trounced by thugs inside the business hub
  • Policemen were called to the scene to restore order but it proved not enough to placate the physically bruised soldiers

After more than a week of being sealed off by military authorities, Banex Plaza in the Wuse 2 area of Abuja has reopened for business.

The popular market resumed operations at around 2:30 PM on Monday, following a tense period marked by clashes and subsequent shutdown.

Nigerian Army

Military men have left the Abuja’s Banex Plaza after pressure from the public
Image: X/NigerianDefenceSource: Twitter

The market was closed on May 18 after a violent altercation between traders and military personnel.

The trouble began when thugs assaulted several soldiers during a disagreement involving a trader and a dissatisfied customer.

The incident reportedly started when a trader sold a defective phone to a customer, who then called in soldiers to resolve the matter. Instead of a peaceful resolution, the trader allegedly summoned thugs who violently attacked the soldiers.

Soldiers beaten by civilians

Eyewitnesses reported that at least two soldiers and a civilian in plain clothes were beaten up by the thugs, who split into groups to carry out the assault.

Despite police intervention, which initially seemed to defuse the situation, soldiers later returned to the plaza, forcing traders to shut down their businesses.

The market remained closed under military guard for several days, drawing widespread condemnation from human rights activists and civil society organisations.

Prominent human rights lawyer Femi Falana, SAN, and various civil society groups criticised the military’s response, arguing that while the trader’s actions were reprehensible, shutting down the entire market was an excessive measure that harmed many innocent traders.

They called for a more measured approach to justice that would not disrupt the livelihoods of numerous business owners and workers.

The military, however, defended its decision, stating that the market would remain closed until those responsible for the attacks on the soldiers were apprehended.

The prolonged closure raised concerns about the impact on the local economy and the precedent it set for handling conflicts between civilians and military personnel.

Soldiers take over Banex Plaza in Abuja

Meanwhile, Fox Nigeria reported that traders at Banex market in Abuja did not have a filled day as they were sent packing for the day by the Nigerian soldiers.

According to report, chaos erupted after angry traders reportedly fought with soldiers following an agreement that ensued over the sale of a defective phone.

Many military vans were also stationed in different spots across the market while traders locked up their respective stores. A video of the development has gone viral on social media X and many Nigerians have reacted differently.

Source: Fox Nigeria

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