The 34 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Ohafia, has denied that its personnel attacked and assaulted women group from the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) during its meeting on Saturday at Abiriba.
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), had alleged on Friday that soldiers from the military cantonment, Ohafia, Abia, molested some women at a meeting at Abiriba.
The spokesman of the brigade, Maj. Oyegoke Gbadamosi, debunked the allegation in a telephone interview with the the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Umuahia.
He said that contrary to media reports, the soldiers neither molested nor assaulted any women.
He explained that some soldiers keeping security in the area only approached the women to ascertain the nature of their gathering near a military checkpoint.
“The venue of the meeting was just about six metres away from the military checkpoint.
“So the soldiers on duty approached the women and sought to see their leader in order to ascertain from her the essence of the meeting.
“On getting there, they were told that their leader went to the palace of the traditional ruler of the area,” he said.
Gbadamosi said that the soldiers immediately proceeded to the palace to confirm if the monarch was aware of the meeting.
He said that when the soldiers got to the palace, the monarch confirmed to them that he was aware of the meeting, adding that at that point, the soldiers returned to their duty post.
Gbadamosi said that some policemen were also present at the venue of the meeting.
The brigade spokesman said the soldiers went back and encouraged the policemen to ensure that there was no threat to public peace.
“Surprisingly, while the soldiers were making their way back to their duty post, they saw some of the women rushing down to the palace half-naked.
“Why will the soldiers molest or assault women? Women are harmless; it is not true that soldiers molested and beat up the women,” he added.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Abia command, DSP Geoffrey Ogbonna, confirmed to NAN on phone that the meeting was peaceful.
“I was told that the meeting held peacefully.
“Although there was initial attempt to disrupt the meeting, it later took place in a peaceful atmosphere,” Ogbonna said.