Katsina Security: Army debunks claims that Soldiers, miners die over N70 million gold nuggets

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BY GODWIN OBI

The Nigerian Army has debunked claims by an online newspaper in a story that 2 of its men and 7 illegal miners were killed in a gun duel over a 70 million naira gold nuggets at Magama village in Jibiya Local Government Area of Katsina State.

A statement by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu described the report as baseless, unfounded, untrue and a mere figment of the writer’s imagination, aimed at tarnishing the reputation of the Nigerian Army.

According to the statement, no Nigerian soldier was killed, nor involved in any skirmish with illegal miners in Magama village on January 5, 2022.

Onyema while reacting to the development quoted the publication as saying, “the incident occurred when the soldiers turned down an initially agreed offer of 500 thousand nairas per pit from the miners, but afterward, turned around to demand more money on discovering the large quantum of gold nuggets found by the illegal miners in one of the pits.h

He added that, contrary to the insinuations peddled by the online medium, Nigerian Army troops deployed in the North West are committed and engrossed in the fight against banditry and other criminalities bedeviling that region hence, they are not permitted to participate in any form of mining, whether legitimate or illegitimate.

The Director Army Public Relations added that, aside from orchestrating disrepute, Fake News as this, has the potential to dampen the morale of the fighting troops, erode their fighting will and undermine the entire operations stressing that, this is certainly not what the troops require at this critical time.

The Nigerian Army further urged the public to disregard the fake news as it is concocted to denigrate Nigerian Army troops, who are working tirelessly to ensure sanity and peace return to the Northwest region and assured the general public of the unrelenting commitment of the troops to decisively tackle the banditry menace in the North West

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