Troops of the Nigerian Army have shut down the popular Song cattle and grains market in Adamawa State, SaharaReporters has learnt.
Traders recounted that the soldiers allegedly demanded millions of naira to allow sales.
A trader who pleaded to be anonymous told SaharaReporters on Thursday that “the soldiers asked for huge amount of money to allow us transact business. They came out openly and straight forward with the demand; we either give or stay out of business. We asked why they were doing this to us, the head of the troops replied that it was an order from above.
“This is absurd; our country is certainly drifting into the mud. These guys (soldiers) carried out the same shenanigans in Gombi some two to three weeks ago, where they robbed the traders before they allowed them to buy and sell.”
When contacted, the Brigade Commander of the 23 brigade Yola, Brigadier General Aminu Garba Mustapha, however, said the market was close temporarily to check the activities of terrorists.
“The market was closed for reasons of security concern. Intelligence confirmed terrorists are sending rustled cattle to sell in the market”, he added.
In the same vein, the district head of Song, Alhaji Ahmadu Saidu, told SaharaReporters that “I’m not aware of any attempt to extort the traders. The soldiers informed me that they shut down the market to investigate something related to terrorism.”
Recall that on December 14, 2021, SaharaReporters had reported that a local weekly market was shut down by the Nigerian Army in Adamawa State over fear of attacks by bandits and other terror elements.
Military sources had told SaharaReporters that Golongtabal market in the Gombi Local Government Area was shut down to avert infiltration by terrorist groups.
The Brigade Commander of the 23 Brigade, Yola, had disclosed that the measure was taken to safeguard the community.