Tension In Aba As Soldiers ‘Launch Reprisals’ After Attack on Colleagues

Tension In Aba As Soldiers ‘Launch Reprisals’ After Attack on Colleagues

The city of Aba in Abia State has been engulfed in tension following a series of reprisal actions by soldiers in response to the killing of five of their colleagues at Obikabia Junction, Ogbor Hill, on Thursday, May 30.

The deceased soldiers were ambushed by unknown gunmen who also set ablaze two military vans and their checkpoint.

In the days following the attack, soldiers conducted extensive raids across Aba, targeting motorists and residents in what appeared to be a quest for retribution.

These operations have significantly heightened fear among the populace, with many preferring to stay indoors to avoid potential arrest or assault.

The atmosphere of fear was exacerbated by the presence of military helicopters patrolling the skies over Aba, observed continuously three days post-incident.

Despite Governor Alex Otti’s reassurances to innocent citizens that they can continue their daily activities without fear, the palpable tension has led to a shutdown of nightlife and a slow return to normalcy in the city.

Businesses, particularly in the Ogbor Hill vicinity where the initial attack occurred, have been slow to reopen, with proprietors and patrons wary of further military action.

Reports from Sunday Vanguard indicate that even local churches in the Obikabia area have suspended activities due to fears of military intrusion.

The economic impact of the military’s forceful response is considerable. A restaurant owner, identified as Mama Uche, reported losses exceeding ₦200,000 as perishable goods spoiled after she was forced to flee her establishment.

Similarly, a trader from Cemetery Market missed a significant supply contract due to the abrupt market closure and reported military blockades on the Abia-Rivers boundary.

Recreational spots and hotels have also felt the brunt of the military’s heavy-handedness, with reports of soldiers storming hotel premises, conducting room searches, and detaining guests and staff.

Some detainees have been released after profiling, yet others remain in custody without clear charges.

A laundry operator in one of the new hotels along Ukaegbu Road said soldiers invaded their hotel at about 2am, ransacked rooms and arrested all lodgers and staff members.

He said: “Soldiers invaded our hotel around 2am, ransacked all the rooms and arrested all lodgers and members of staff.

“We were moved to a military camp in Aba where some people were screened and released.

“But some are still being detained. Since the invasion of the hotel by the soldiers, guests no longer visit for lodging and relaxation.

“At the moment, people are afraid, no business because there is fear everywhere.

“We pray that the situation will soon return to normal for business to start booming again.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *