The Kaduna branch of Petroleum Tanker Drivers Association, has announced indefinite suspension of its operation in protest against the alleged killing of one of its members by soldiers in Kaduna.
Its Chairman, Gambo Tuge, who announced the suspension in an interview with newsmen on Tuesday in Kaduna, said the victim was shot by the soldier at the NNPC junction in the city.
He alleged that, the victim, Muhammed Isah, 37, was shot by a member of the Joint Task Force stationed along the Kaduna Refining Petrochemical Company Road while off-loading fuel from a tanker with registration number Kebbi AA 352 BRK belonging to A A Maiahu co. Ltd.
Tuge said the deceased, who hailed from Kamba Local Government in Kebbi, was shot following an argument with the soldiers while off-loading the product at AP filling station on Sunday night.
The chairman said one of the soldiers had asked the driver and his assistant to frog-jump for an undisclosed offence.
``He later enquired to know who the tanker driver was, and when the driver identified himself the soldier asked him to walk towards him and in the process opened fire and shot him twice on the abdoment.``
He said the deceased was rushed to St. Gerard's Hospital, where he later died.
Tuge said the association had informed its national headquarters on the incident and was awaiting its response.
He said the suspension of its services would continue pending the response of the national body and the army.
According to him, soldiers had in similar circumstances killed two tanker drivers in Plateau and Enugu States.
Meanwhile, a medical report issued by St. Gerard's Hospital and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday, indicated that the driver died as result of gun shot wounds on Dec. 10 at about 5:05 a.m.
In its response, the 1 Div. Headquarters of the Nigerian Army, said it had began investigation into the incident.
Its spokesman, Col. Sani Usman assured that any soldier found culpable would be dealt with according to the law.
`` I wish to state that the Headquarters, 1 Div. is aware of the incident and has since commenced investigation with a view to ascertaining culpability of the soldier involved, to ensure that justice is done.
``I wish to appeal to the deceased family, friends and members of the tanker drivers association that the Army will not condone any breach of the rule of engagement by any officer or soldier.
``1 Div. has gone an extra mile in dialoguing with the union officials with a view to reaching a possible and amicable solution.
`` we are appealing to them to remain calm,`` Usman said in a telephone interview with NAN.
He assured that the Army would assist the family in the burial of the victim.