The soldiers were allegedly harassing a community leader.
Five soldiers on Saturday assaulted some policemen in Jos shortly after a security meeting convened by the Plateau State Commissioner of Police on the renewed violent clashes in the state.
The policemen were allegedly trying to prevent the soldiers from harassing a community leader who attended the meeting and was about leaving the venue. An exchange of blows soon ensued between the soldiers and the policemen who were in charge of security protocols at the meeting venue.
It took the swift intervention of some senior police officers who were at the venue to calm the fracas. Order was subsequently restored and the community leader who had been detained by the soldiers, released.
Earlier, while addressing journalists shortly after the meeting, the state Commissioner of Police, Chris Olakpe, insisted that the persistence violence in the state was due to the excessive intake of drugs and alcohol among the youth of the state.
Mr. Olakpe charged community leaders and youth alike to embark on a crusade against excessive consumption of harmful drugs especially among the youth in their respective communities, noting that the situation was becoming alarming.
However, the police chief said the recent attacks in the state should not be given religious or ethnic coloration and warned those behind the violent acts to bring to an end to it or face the wrath of the law.
Commenting on the impact of such security meetings, a Christian and a Muslim youth leader from Tuduwada who attended the meeting, Musa Jibrin and Sani Haruna respectively, in interviews with PREMIUM TIMES called for the meetings to be held on a regular basis as such meetings had helped in the past to intimate the public on violent situation in the state.
Mr. Musa particularly pointed out that one of such meetings had led the residents of Tuduwada to form a joint security neighborhood watch of people from both faiths to safeguard their community.
About 500 people including community, youth, and opinion leaders as well as some civil society members attended Saturday’s meeting.
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