Police Station Set Ablaze Over Alleged Killing In Abia
Tension remains high in Abia State, as about three people are reported to have been killed in Umuahia, the state capital, allegedly by soldiers.
The incident is said to have triggered a violent reaction in the neighbouring town of Aba, resulting in the burning of a police station by an angry mob at Ariaria International Market.
An eyewitness told Channels Television that the soldiers shot the three people and immediately took their bodies away, condemning the action of the soldiers whom he said opened fire on people going about their daily business.
Following the violence, people were said to have closed their shops, while some of the angry youths were said to have mounted road blocks but were prevailed upon to remove them and remain calm.
But the Nigerian Army has denied invading any community in Abia State and in the entire south-eastern part of Nigeria neither was anyone killed by soldiers in Umuahia.
Deputy Director Army Public Relations, 82 Division, Col. Sagir Musa told Channels Television that the rumour is baseless and mischievous and should, therefore, be disregarded.
He added that soldiers are lawfully deployed, with a clear mandate, rules of engagement and code of conduct to combat identified obvious security challenges in the South-East Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the new Commissioner of Police in the state, Anthony Ogbizi, who took over from Adeleye Oyebade, this morning, has given the assurance that his men are patrolling all the city to maintain the peace.
He said, “When people take the law into their hands, go attack and destroy, they are hoodlums. If you carry out peaceful agitation, it is a different thing. But when it comes to violence, of course, we will not stand idly by and allow you get away with it. And because of that, everybody is already being directed to take the necessary steps to involve the law.
“I think nobody should test the will of the state. We’ve deployed people to go and ensure that the whole of that area is clear. And wherever there are those pockets of hoodlum activity, we will ensure that it’s cleared.”
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