There was commotion in Aba, the Abia state capital, yesterday as a clash broken out in Ariaria and Ogborhill following protests over alleged killings of an Igbo butcher at the Waterside abattoir by soldiers.
BuzzNigeria gathered what happened yesterday in Aba was only an escalation of a crisis that began last week when an unnamed soldier in mufti, reportedly went to the abattoir to smoke Indian hemp after which he refused to pay, claiming he was a soldier and some boys in the area had insisted he must pay, not knowing he was a soldier.
Also See: Militants Blow Up Chevron Platform Valve
The aggrieved soldier reportedly left, only to come back for a revenge yesterday with four of his colleagues in a Hilux patrol van. As reports have it, they soldiers got off the Hilux and began shooting indiscriminately, to the amazement of butchers and those who came to buy meat, who all scampered for safety.
But when the shooting was over, a native Aba pig rarer, identified as Ojukwu, was found dead and when some of the butchers, who saw what happened, sought to know from the soldiers what led to their action, the soldiers reportedly beat four others to pulp, forced them into their van and drove off to an unknown destination.
This angered the butchers, who protested round the city with the corpse of the dead man in a wheel barrow. The protest later took an ethnic form when protesters marched towards the Mosque and the Hausa settlement on Hospital Road, as many Huasas had to take refuge at the Aba Police Area command.
Although one Hausa man was reportedly burnt to death by the angry mob, the claim has not been confirmed as at the time of filing this report.
The governor Okezie Ikpeazu has condemned yesterday’s killing of the butcher by the soldier. In a statement released by his Chief Press Secretary, Godwin Adindu, the governor said the soldier who allegedly perpetrated the act has been arrested and taken into custody, noting that he (soldier) will surely face the full weight of the law.
According to the statement, the governor has instructed the recently re-equipped security agencies in the state to ensure watertight security around all borders and towns in the state to prevent any further attack. He also directed the men of the Abia State Vigilante Services (AVS) to commence, with immediate effect, a two week intensive training, for onward deployment to communities to assist in community policing under the supervision of the Commissioner of Police.
All Traditional Rulers in the state have been directed to submit names of 10 able-bodied youths from their community to the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs from Tuesday 10th to Wednesday 11th May 2016. These youths will be enlisted into the Abia State Vigilante Services (AVS) to further boost community policing in the state.
Law enforcement agencies have been mandated to search and monitor all trucks and vehicles conveying livestocks, food items and persons into the state from any part of the country with a view to preventing inter-state movement of arms and terrorists. The law enforcement agencies will also search and monitor markets and settlements where livestocks and dealers are located, to ensure security.