Tension in Aba, as Army, Police block major roads, harass residents
Yolamchi Ukaga, Aba
Some residents of Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State, were on Thursday, harassed and abused by security operatives, including Police and Army, who claimed that they received information of a planned attack on police formations in the area.
Consequently, they went on rampage, by blocking access to police stations, major junctions and assaulted innocent residents and patrons to the commercial city, who got close to their checkpoints.
Even soldiers at Main Park, which is in the heart of Aba, cordoned-off the busy Asa Road against motorists and forced pedestrians to walk through the area with their two hands raised up.
Police officers from the Aba Area Command Headquarters harassed and beat up people, destroyed vehicles and tricycles in what seems like a reprisal attack.
The incident which started as early as 8.00am, saw the total blockade of all roads leading to the Aba Police Area Command, Aba Prisons, Aba Central Police Station, Eziama and Aba North Local Government secretariat and the Aba General Hospital.
All shops and other business firms were forced to close, as the security personnel shot sporadically to scare people.
A police source at Aba Area Command told our reporter that they got intelligence report that some people that attacked a police officer on Thursday morning in Aba were not ordinary residents.
Geoffrey Ogbonna, Abia State Police public relations officer, explained that a policeman that was traveling in a tricycle, as a passenger was attacked by some people, because the tricycle he boarded hit a Siena car from behind.
According to him, a little altercation between the tricycle operator and the occupants of the Siena, resulted in the assault of the policeman, by occupants of the Siena car, when they discovered that he is a policeman.
Consequently, to free himself from the people, he called for rescue and his colleagues went and rescued him.
However, a source at Aba Area Command alleged that they got intelligence reports that some persons were trying to attack the station.
“With what happened in the most secured part of Imo State on Easter Monday, nobody is taking chances again.
“Everybody knows what this place represents in Aba and no Aba man will want this place to fall, because here is the security base of Aba.
“The Correctional Centre is here, Police Area Command Aba, is here, Police Divisional Headquarters, Aba is here, DSS office is here, Aba High Court and Aba South Magistrate Court are all close here.
“Virtually everything that has to do with security and safety in Aba, are here and even police clinic is also here.
“If you look at the other side you’ll also see the Aba General Hospital, where several patients are treated on daily basis and it’s an important centre to everybody here.
“Police cannot watch all these facilities burn, not at all. Every information, whether big or small, must be taken seriously. No time for complacency.
“What’s happening today is what police must do to secure all residents not just the barracks or the Correctional Centre, alone.
“It’s for everybody and as you can see, people cooperated with us and vacated the area. All we need is prayers right now and not unnecessary criticisms. There’s time for everything.”