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The tension raised following the activities of a group of women who tried to disrupt activities in Giwa Barracks, Maiduguri earlier today has been addressed. The situation had attracted media attention and elicited a lot of concern from well meaning Nigerians.
The wives and children of soldiers at the Giwa Barracks, Maiduguri, have maintained their blockade of the barracks 48 hours after they started.
Dozens of women and children have since Saturday forcefully stopped military trucks from transporting their husbands and fathers to Gwoza. The protesters blocked the gates of the barracks that houses the 21 Armoured brigade of the Nigerian army.
They demanded quality fighting equipment for the soldiers. By Monday morning, the protesters were still at the gates, ensuring that no vehicle moves in or outside the barracks. They were said to have taken a short break during the nights, but resumed before dawn.
Defence Headquarters in a statement said the Situation was quickly brought under control, the issues being raised by the women were clarified to them by the authorities of the 7 Division. It was pointed out that contrary to their belief, there has never been any attempt to relocate them as alleged.
Furthermore, it was made clear that while the Army remains sensitive to the needs of the family members, it was not normal or proper for any Officer or Soldier to decide where he or she be deployed, neither will such demand be encouraged from spouses in a period of serious operation when the entire nation was depending on the Army to address the security challenges.
They were however assured that no Officer, Soldier or unit would be tasked without the necessary means to accomplish their task. It was also stated that Troops were not being sent on operation without the necessary arms, ammunition and support as alleged. The recent operations at Bulanbulin and Damboa where terrorists were cleared without a single casualty on the troops was cited.
The military authorities therefore reassure citizens that the situation has been brought under control, while appropriate action would be taken against any person found to be involved in the heinous and cowardly acts or attempts to demoralise or discourage the troops by preventing them from obeying lawful orders and command in defence of the country.