One person was reportedly killed and three others injured when residents of Tungan Maje confronted soldiers in a dispute over land.
The standoff began Tuesday and continued into midnoon yesterday also resulting in heavy traffic when the residents blocked the Kaduna-Lokoja road.
A son of the chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Tungan Maje ward, Hamza Haruna Usman, is said to have been shot dead by stray bullet, Tuesday afternoon, while three others sustained bullet wounds.
A resident of the area, Ibrahim Suleiman, said the incident happened when some natives of the area blocked the highway to protest alleged Nigeria Army takeover of their land.
He said a truckload of soldiers came to disperse the protesting youth but in the process of dismantling the barricades on the highway, the youth resisted.
City News gathered that it was while the soldiers shot in the air to scare the youths away that bullets hit the deceased and the injured.
Suleiman said Usman died on the spot while the three other persons, who included a woman, were taken to the private clinic in the area for medical attention.
But the spokesman of the Nigerian Army Headquarters Garrison, Colonel Omale Ochagwuba, described it as erroneous allegations that Garrison troops clashed with Tungan-Maje community on Giri/Zuba road.
Ochaguwa said, “The fact of the matter is that there was no clash between Army Headquarters Garrison troops and Tungan-Maje community.
“What happened was that there was a convoy of troops travelling along that road towards Zuba. It was also confirmed by the community, that the troops that clashed with them were travelling along the road before they ran into the roadblock mounted by the youth.”
“Army Headquarters Garrison neither has a checkpoint along that road nor does it patrol it, the incident is being jointly investigated by Army Headquarters Garrison and the Federal Capital Territory Police Command to trace the unit of the troops allegedly involved,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the protesting natives again mobilised to block the highway, yesterday, demanding for justice on the alleged killing of their kinsman by soldiers.
The protesting natives used tyres and logs of wood to block the road, while armed soldiers stood by watching the protesters.
Some travellers who were caught up in the blockage, which lasted a whole day, from Tuesday to Wednesday midday, disembarked from their vehicles to board motorcycles to continue with their journey.
The FCT minister’s delegation led by director of Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Jibrin Shaba and director of Security, Adamu B. Gwaji, in company of the council chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mustapha, addressed the protesting youth before the road was opened.
Shaba explained that the military had submitted documents at AGIS with claims that the land belonged to the Nigerian Army since 1997, but that according to the Abuja Master plan, the land was meant for general purpose not for military barracks as claimed by Nigerian Army.
He said though the FCT Administration has offered to allocate another land to the army in Kwali, they have insisted the Tungan Maje land originally belonged to them.
“I want the youths for the purpose of peace to open the road so that travellers and sick people who are going to hospital can move,” he said.