It was more of a Hollywood war film yesterday in Aba, Abia State, as soldiers believed to be attached to the Forward Operation Base and Mobile Policemen engaged in heavy shoot out over alleged assault on one of them.
The shoot out, which created tension and panic around Osisioma Ngwa junction along the Enugu – Port Harcourt Expressway resulted in commuters and motorists, shop owners and others scampering for safety, several vehicles abandoned on the highway causing traffic gridlock.
Though the true cause of the incident was yet to be ascertained as at the time of filing this report, but heavy presence of patrol teams of soldiers and policemen were sighted along Aba – Owerri road, racing towards the scene of the incident. Both police and military authorities in the city who were contacted over the incident but they declined comments.
However, Abia State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Anthony Ogbizi, said he was yet to be briefed about the in-cident when contacted by our reporter.
“It will be too hasty for me to talk now. Let me get the full details of the incident,” Ogbizi said.
In a swift move to calm situation in the city, the state governor through a release by the Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, condemned the incident and directed full investigation into the circumstances that led to the fracas and bring those responsible to justice.
The statement reads: “Abia State Government received with sadness disturbing reports of an unfortunate confrontation between a group of soldiers and police officers at the Osisioma area of Aba earlier today.
“We are working with the heads of the concerned security agencies in the state to ensure that the situation, which has been brought under control, does not repeat itself or escalate within the state.
“Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has also directed full investigation of the circumstances that led to the breach of public peace with a view to preventing future occurrence of such armed confrontation that endanger the lives of innocent citizens and security agents working in the state.”