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Pandemonium as military storms Aba, shuts down markets





By Peters Monday, Abuja


Aba, Abia State, is currently gripped by tension as soldiers have taken control of the city in response to the killing of five of their colleagues at a military checkpoint in Obikabia junction, Ogbor Hill. The checkpoint was attacked by gunmen suspected to be enforcing the sit-at-home order issued by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), resulting in the death of five soldiers and the burning of two patrol vans and the checkpoint.


The situation has escalated, with two military helicopters continuously hovering over the Ogbor Hill area and its environs. Residents are scrambling for safety whenever they spot the numerous patrol teams of soldiers moving at high speed. Soldiers have also stormed markets and business centers, including Cemetery, Ngwa road, and Nsulu markets, ordering traders to leave the areas.


Many schools in the city have been closed, with parents refusing to let their children attend classes, while some schools closed early. However, the Aba main motor park remains bustling with activity. Notably, soldiers have abandoned their 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 neighboring areas, are staying indoors, fearing reprisal from the soldiers. The Aba-Umuahia section of the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway has been barricaded by fierce-looking soldiers, with passengers being forced to alight at Arungwa, Umuekea, Isiala Ngwa, and Ntigha junctions and trek for a kilometer while raising their hands. To avoid the situation, some motorists are using local routes to bypass the numerous military checkpoints on the expressway.


Efforts to reach the Army Public Relations Officer, 14 Brigade, Ohafia, Lt. Innocent Omale, for a reaction were unsuccessful, as he did not respond to a message sent to his mobile number.