A group, Stand Up Nigeria (SUN) has condemned the attack on military personnel by armed men in Niger and Bayelsa.
A group, Stand Up Nigeria (SUN) has condemned the attack on military personnel by armed men in Niger and Bayelsa state.
On Sunday, August 7, 2016, 11 soldiers were killed by persons now identified as gun-runners in Kopa, Dagma and Gagaw villages of Bosso Local Government Area, Niger state.
On Monday August 8, 2016 three soldiers were again killed in an attack on a military checkpoint at Tombi waterside in Nembe, Bayelsa state.
Sunday Attah, the group's country director said both instances mark an escalation of attacks targeting military personnel in the course of their legitimate duty.
He said: "The incidence were also linked with the quest by criminal elements to build up intimidating arsenal: the killers in Niger state were protecting their cache of weapons while the so called sea bandits in Bayelsa reportedly made away with a gunboat belonging to the military and two K2 rifles.
"There have been previous attacks on the military in the past including killings linked to politicians desperate to rig elections. We see these attacks by criminal elements in the society as deliberate attempts to not only test the strength of our security personnel but also ostensibly as a means of testing the waters for a more sinister objective.
"We further condemn as associated trend where elites, politicians or ethnic leaders try to cover for criminals by falsely claiming the military attacked civilians. In our thinking, people who could kill 11 soldiers in a single attack are no longer civilians while those who provide cover and logistics to such killer groups are as involved as the murderers.
"A situation where the senator representing Niger East Senatorial District, David Umoru politicized the killing in Niger state is a disservice to the country as any political gain from playing to the gallery would be short lived and could potentially come to haunt the state.
"Senator Umoru should have explore how to support the military in ridding his district of criminals that were stockpiling arms instead of trying to cover the connection his constituents have with the recovered weapon caches, which have been described as capable of destabilizing neighboring states", Attah said in a statement.
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