Tension As Soldiers Lay Siege On Aba, Markets Shut

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Tension is increasing in Aba, Abia state, as soldiers have taken over the city following the killing of five of their colleagues at a military checkpoint located at Obikabia junction, Ogbor Hill.

Gunmen suspected to be enforcers of the sit at home order directed by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, had attacked the checkpoint and killed five soldiers and burnt two patrol vans as well as their checkpoint.

The tension over the killing has increased with two military helicopters still hovering over the Ogbor Hill area and environs.

Vanguard gathered that residents have resorted to scampering for safety whenever they sight the several patrol teams of soldiers who move on top speed.

Vanguard also gathered that soldiers had stormed Cemetery, Ngwa road, Nsulu markets and other business centres and ordered traders to leave the areas. Many schools in the city didn’t open for studies as parents did not allow their children to leave for school while some schools closed before midday.

However, the Aba main motor park was still a beehive of activities when Vanguard visited. Vanguard also noted that soldiers had left the military checkpoints at Asa road and Emelogu junction in Ogbor Hill.

Residents of Umuola, Ukaegbu, Ehere, New Umuahia and Ururuka roads in Ogbor Hill and Obohia and Ohanku in Ndiegoro area, as well as adjoining areas have remained indoors for fear of reprisal from soldiers.

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Fierce looking soldiers have also barricaded the Aba – Umuahia section of the Enugu – Port Harcourt expressway. Passengers now alight at Arungwa, Umuekea, Isiala Ngwa and Ntigha junctions and trek a kilometer while raising their hands. To avoid the situation, some motorists navigate through local routes to avoid the numerous military checkpoints on the expressway.

Efforts to get the reaction of the Army Public Relations Officer,14 Brigade, Ohafia, Lt. Innocent Omale, was unsuccessful, as he didn’t respond to a message sent to his mobile number.

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