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Tension In Aba As Nigerian Soldiers Arrests Innocent Youths Over Killing Of Colleagues



There is currently fear and apprehension among residents of Aba, Abia State following the Nigerian Army’s vow to avenge the death of its men and the attendant arrest of youths by Army officers.

On Friday, Governor Alex Otti placed a twenty-five million naira bounty for information that will lead to the capture of the hoodlums, encouraging Abia residents to go about their legitimate duties without fear.

He also encouraged the military personnel to exercise restraint at checkpoints, on patrol and other security duties.

However, despite the assurance by the Governor, there are reports that some youths in Aba were arrested by the Army on Friday while travellers were allegedly forced to disembark from vehicles, raise their arms in the air and trek for several meters, by military personnel at Umuikaa junction and some other military checkpoints around Aba.

The heavy security presence forced some motorists to meander through village routes to reconnect to their destinations.

To stay safe, many youths living or doing business around the Obikabia junction where the soldiers were killed, have either stayed indoors or fled the area, to avoid being arrested or intimidated.

A resident of Ogbo Hill who spoke on anonymity on Saturday said that many shops around the Obikabia junction where the Army officers were killed, remained locked or deserted by their owners, in fear of any possible reprisal by the Army.

The resident added that some markets in Aba on Saturday recorded a drop in the number of traders who usually came from outside the state.

According to the Ogbo Hill resident, “The vow by the Army to avenge the killing of its men is something that can’t be joked with.

“You know no innocent person will like to fall victim to the avowed revenge”, he said.

to the situation, the President of Ohanaeze Youths Council, OYC, Igboayaka O. Igboayaka described the killing of the Nigerian Army officers as barbaric.

The group, however, alleged that some innocent youths were either arrested or harassed in Aba and Obingwa by Army officers.

Igboayaka in an appeal to Governor Alex Otti, said “We demand that those arrested on Friday, 31st May, 2024 in Aba and Obingwa LGA be released”.

Also, the former Governor of Abia, Okezie Ikpeazu who is from Obingwa LGA, while condemning the killing of the Nigerian soldiers, called on the military operatives to exercise professionalism in search of the hoodlums.

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