Lokoja: Phone Technicians and Accessory Dealers Protest Alleged Military Harassment

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Members of the Association of Phone Technicians and Accessory Dealers (APTAD) in Lokoja have staged a peaceful protest over alleged harassment by men of the Nigeria Army.

The protesting phone technicians with placards of various inscriptions alleged that a faction of APTAD with unrecognized executives in connivance with security agents were bent on chasing the legitimate members out of the market situated at Cantonment in Lokoja.

While addressing a press conference, the Public Relations Officer of the association, Comrade Yahaya Adams expressed concerns over what he described as interference by the Army into issues that were “purely civil”.

Comrade Yahaya who noted that his members were majorly graduates who did not want to “wait perpetually for white collar jobs”, lamented the clamp down of its members by the army and called for intervention.

“We are crying out to the government and general public to save our association from the hand of Police SIB and the Nigeria Army who have been intimidating and harassing our members of late.

“We, the current caretaker executives inherited this crisis from the immediate past executives and this crisis will not stop until the likes of Mr. Fadaka from SIB, OC SIB and the Nigerian Army hands off our affairs. Our crisis is a pure civil matter that can be resolved amicably among ourselves.

“Few days ago, our members were going about their businesses peacefully but the atmosphere changed when men of the Nigerian Army stormed our premises. Four vehicles were filled with military men. The army, alongside one Mr. Fadaka chased everyone out of our business premises. Mr Fred Ibru, a member of the newly elected caretaker executive was beaten mercilessly and taken to the barracks. We are calling on the state and federal governments to call these uniformed men to order”, he said.

Another member, Mohammed Baba Idris who was also manhandled appealed to the Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello to intervene in the incessant attacks, adding that they have lost thousands of naira as a result of disruption of their legitimate business activities.

“Our business premises is no longer safe for our members. We are here to see the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters before this issue degenerates into another thing.

“We know Governor Bello is a youth friendly leader. He believes in youths and this is expressly shown in his cabinet. We plead with him to come to our aid to enable us carry out our businesses unmolested. Union issues are civil and soldiers should concentrate on more pressing security matters in the country”,  he said.

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