Tension as soldiers fire at workers carrying court-ordered demolition in Asese, Ogun State

Residents of Asese, Ogun State, are deeply unsettled after soldiers of the Nigerian Army, said to be hired by Christ Embassy, fired live bullets at workers carrying out a demolition ordered by a court.

The incident occurred on Saturday, July 6, around 4 p.m., causing panic and forcing businesses to close.

Videos show the confrontation, with Nigerian security personnel kneeling with guns aimed at the youths and employees of Iffen Ventures, the demolition company tasked with carrying out the court’s mandate.

The sight of armed soldiers compelled the workers to abandon their equipment and flee for their lives.

Iffen Ventures had previously attempted the demolition on Wednesday, July 3, but were similarly threatened by the same soldiers. Undeterred, the company returned to the site on July 6, and faced the same hostile reception.

The soldiers’ presence and threats to open fire if the workers proceeded with the demolition created a climate of fear and tension in the community.

“Their action was awful. If we had proceeded, they would have killed the people. If we decided to do the job at night, people would die, and some would be missing,” Olabode Babafemi, a representative from Iffen Ventures, stated.

Quoting one of the soldiers as saying, ‘If you continue, we will take the necessary actions,’ meaning they would open fire on us.”

The escalating situation has resulted in the temporary abandonment of the demolition project. Shops and businesses in the area have shuttered in response to the ongoing threat, with residents unsure of their safety.

“I will talk to Mr. Audu to get a task force and reinforcement to protect them from being intimidated,” Olabode said, emphasizing the need for additional security measures to ensure the court order can be executed without further violence.

This emphasizes the growing tension and lawlessness in the region, as well as the corruption of the Nigerian soldiers, as court orders are met with armed resistance, putting lives at risk and undermining the rule of law.

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