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Killing of soldiers: Markets, schools shut down as tension heightens in Aba - UTWEETS
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Killing of soldiers: Markets, schools shut down as tension heightens in Aba

Markets and other public facilities have been reportedly closed down as tension heightens in parts of Aba, Abia State, following the gruesome murder of five military personnel by gunmen suspected to be members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB...READ THE FULL STORY HERE▶▶▶

DAILY POST reports that the bloodthirsty gunmen, who have been wreaking havoc in the Southeast, attacked a military checkpoint at Obikabia junction, Ogbor Hill in Obingwa Local Government Area on Thursday.

The incident, which claimed the lives of five soldiers, occurred when members of the proscribed secessionist group were enforcing sit-at-home in the region to mark the 2024 Biafra Heroes Day.

The daredevil gunmen also destroyed two patrol vans belonging to the military.

DAILY POST gathered that at least six civilians were also killed in the crossfire.

The soldiers who paid the supreme price are: Sergeant Charles Ugochukwu, Sergeant Bala Abraham, Corporal Gideon Egwe, Corporal Ikpeama Ikechukwu and Corporal Augustine Emmanuel.

Reacting to the incident, the Defence Headquarters on Friday vowed to fight back, saying it would be fierce in its response.

A statement issued by the Director, Defence Media Operations, Major General Edward Buba accused IPOB and its militant wing, the Eastern Security Network, ESN, of carrying out the heinous attack.

“The situation leaves more to be desired. Accordingly, it is absolutely imperative that the military retaliate against this dastardly act against troops.

“The military would be fierce in its response. We would bring overwhelming military pressure on the group to ensure their total defeat,” the statement said.

DAILY POST gathered that hours after after the military’s stance, the entire Aba was enveloped in palpable fear.

Reports emerged on Saturday that the tension was heightened as two military helicopters were sighted hovering over the Ogbor Hill area and environs.

Sources told our correspondent on Saturday that the city of Aba is currently under siege by the military, triggering fear of attacks.

It was also gathered that some schools were closed on Friday following the statement by the military.

President General of the Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, COSEYL, Goodluck Ibem told DAILY POST that the military has shut down four markets including Ngwa Road Market, Alaoji Market, Cemetery Market and Enyimba Market since the incident happened.

“There is a serious tension in Aba right now. The presence of the soldiers alone is very intimidating. They have blocked any road that leads to their checkpoint. No vehicular movement in those places.

“Some markets are no longer functional because the military closed them down.

“They have closed down four markets. Ngwa road Market, Alaoji Market, Cemetery Market and Enyimba Market are not functioning at the moment.

“Other markets are scanty because of fear of attack by the army”, the COSEYL’s President General added.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the State, Chinaka Maureen declined speaking on the tension, saying “it is a military matter, I only speak for the police”.

However, a police source, who spoke to DAILY POST on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak, confirmed the development, saying people no longer step out of their homes.

According to him, the only solution to the impending face-off between the army and the community where the attack was carried out is for residents to fish out the assailants.

He said, “The Nigerian army will not back down until the perpetrators are apprehended.

“So the best thing the people of Aba will do to save the innocent people is to bring out those that carried out this attack.

“They know themselves. The gunmen were not ghosts, definitely they are members of the society. They should fish out the bad eggs.

“I’m sure that the army is not after any innocent person but you can’t attack and kill military personnel like that and think that you will be free.

“The residents are scared because of what happened in Delta State early this year when soldiers were killed and the military took over the community. The best thing for them now is to help the military apprehend the criminals”.

Meanwhile, the Abia State government has placed a N25 million bounty on the killers of the five soldiers.

The Commissioner for Information in Abia State, Okey Kanu, disclosed this in a statement on Friday.

“To underscore its resolve, the state government is offering a N25 million reward to anyone with useful information that could lead to the location and arrest of any of the criminals connected to the unfortunate killings, and the subsequent state of apprehension across the city of Aba and environs,” he stated.

The commissioner added that security agencies in the state have been directed to treat informants with confidentiality to guarantee their cooperation and assistance until the killers were arrested.

Similarly, while reacting to the killing of the soldiers, President Bola Tinubu on Saturday vowed that the federal government will come down heavily against the criminal elements.

Tinubu in a statement he personally penned down, said on no account should anyone, under any guise, have the audacity to kill agents of state.

He warned that the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the armed forces have the capacity to crush violent non-state actors.

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