Hundreds of Deltans took to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on Friday to lambast the Delta State government led by Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa and his commissioner for Information, Charles Ehiedu An
In a video that went viral earlier on Friday,the two officers had threatened the people of Warri in Delta State, particularly mothers, wives and daughters, saying their planned action was in retaliation of the alleged murder of their colleague in the state.
Some youths protesting the killing of Joseph Pessu, a Warri resident, by a soldier enforcing the lockdown in the state, had reportedly beaten another soldier to death.
In a statement by the state commissioner for Information, CharlesAniagwu, the state government had said the video was not true stressing that “it was an arrangement of those who didn’t want the peace of the state, adding that the video was not a true representation of Nigerian military officers who knew the implication of threatening citizens with such an illicit video.
In his words: “Let me thank Deltans for their cooperation so far and urge them to discard the concocted videos aimed at causing disaffection between the military and Deltans.
“There is no report of killing of soldiers in Warri or any other part of Delta.
“The concocted videos were aimed at causing disaffection between Deltans and the security agencies carrying out lawful duties.
“While we appeal to our people to remain law-abiding, it is imperative to state that videos trending in social media are not a true reflection of happenings in the state.
“We therefore call on our people to discard the videos and continue to remain indoors as directed by the government to enable us curb the possible outbreak and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.”
But in counter statement, the Nigerian Army,in a series of tweets on Friday evening, said the officers have been arrested at the Ikeja Military Cantonment in Lagos State.
“Soldiers in a viral video using uncouth and uncivilized language purportedly threatening to molest women in Warri Delta State were arrested at 9 Brigade Ikeja Military Cantonment Lagos State today, 3 April 2020, and further investigation is ongoing,” one of the tweets read.
“The general public should be assured that the investigations will be swift and fair in accordance with applicable military laws. The outcome of the investigations will determine the most appropriate disciplinary measures that can be taken in the circumstance.
“The Nigerian Army wishes to reiterate that it would not tolerate any form of irresponsibility and indiscipline on the part of any of its personnel.”
Having realised that the cover-up games had failed following the Nigerian Army tweets, the state governor quickly announced the arrest of the soldiers via his verified Facebook page on Friday night, corroborating the statement of the Nigerian Army.
Some of the reactions of Deltans on Facebook read:
“Godwin Kiap says:
“I Shame for Delta government (confused govt)
“This Okowa’s administration is either confused or the commissioner of information Delta State who earlier authoritatively said the video of the army officers dishing out threats to Deltans especially those in Warri is a FAKE video, is either not informed or trying to attract disgrace to the state/governor.
“You can see how smart Okowa is, he has come out few minutes ago to agree that the video wasn’t fake and also confirming that the said soldiers in the viral video have been apprehended just because his commissioner has been proven wrongly, but Governor Okowa should be aware that we know this very move (to save face).
“Take a look at your governor and his commissioner of Information.
“Do not sell out Deltans just because you want to protect your name/government.
“Mr. commissioner please do the needful.”
Believe Egbe Says
“Shame on the Delta State Government for defending the Soldiers that threatened to rape our Mothers and Sisters in Warri. The Nigerian Army has arrested them after the video went viral. “Believe Egbe says:
“Hon Aniagwu Charles, Delta State Information commissioner, you can now juxtapose the statement of the Nigerian Army with the statement from your office earlier today.
“See, Deltans, let’s not deceive ourselves. The “One Delta” mantra is a scam. We don’t love ourselves in this state.
“This is the Delta State commissioner for Information who defended the cocaine sniffing, HIV-positive and bush-dwelling soldiers who threatened to rape our mothers and sisters. You can see the reason he was quick to defend the soldiers in this picture.
“See the second picture for the statement of the state governor this evening. It is now obvious that the commissioner reacted without due consultation with the governor.
“Delta State government of irregularities.”
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