Soldiers invaded Tungan-Maje community in Gwagwalada area council of Abuja, on Sunday, beating up Salihu Aliyu, the Galadima of the community and his family members.
Daily Trust learnt that eight people including a 23-year-old student of College of Education (COE) Zuba, Shemau Salihu, alongside the eldest son of Galadima of Tungan-Maje, Abdulrahman Salihu, sustained injuries as a result of the beating.
Narrating the incident to our reporter on Monday, Salihu said he was sitting in front of his house alongside his father and some of his friends when soldiers suddenly alighted from a Hilux van and descended on him with stick.
He said the soldiers divided themselves into groups, adding that while some were maltreating him, others walked into three houses to beat up the occupants.
“Even before then, there was a lady who came along with a man in mufti and pointed hand at me telling the man, ‘that is the brother’,” he said.
He said while asking the lady what was the problem was and whom they were looking for, a hot argument ensued.
According to him, after those people left, the soldiers stormed the community.
He added that he had just finished observed Isha’i prayers when the military men stormed the area.
He said some commercial cyclists, who stopped to watch what was happening, were also assaulted.
“After the beating, the soldiers dragged us, including my father, into their Hilux and drove us to their barrack,” he said.
The Galadima of Tungan-Maje, Salihu Aliyu, who also spoke with our reporter alleged that the soldiers held on to his shirt as he walked out of the mosque.
“I was coming out of the mosque when one of the soldiers grabbed my shirt and started hitting me with stick while some of them were shooting sporadically into the air,” he said.
He said the soldiers later dragged him on the floor into the Hilux van alongside seven others to the barracks in the area.
He said after they were released, he proceeded to a clinic in the community for treatment.
The chief of Tungan-Maje, Alhaji Salihu Isiaku Na’ Annabi, confirmed the incident, saying he was at his palace when some of his subjects came to him to say soldiers had beaten up Galadima and some others.
And what I did quickly was to put a call across to the Agora of Zuba, even though I couldn’t get him on phone but I got the Makama Karmi to alert him about the incident in my domain,” he said.
The monarch said though one of his sons later contacted the commander of the barracks at Tungan-Maje to report the incident.
He said the commander later appealed to him and promised that he would investigate the matter.
The vice chairman of Gwagwalada area council, Alhaji Mohammed Kasim Ikwa, confirmed the incident to our reporter, saying he visited the community immediately he received information about the incident.
“In fact I was in Tungan-Maje this morning when they called me that some soldiers invaded three houses and beat up some residents.”
The vice chairman, while condemning the incident, said he had placed a call to the FCT police commissioner, CP Sunday Babaji, to inform him about the incident.
“Even when I enquired, I learnt that when some people have disagreement with someone, the next thing such person will do is to go and invite soldiers to molest people,” he said.
Efforts to get reaction of the Army commander of Tungan-Maje base, were not successful.