Tension in Aba


There was tension in Aba yesterday. Some residents remained indoors and others were seen leaving the city in fear.

At Uratta Junction, Ariaria Junction, Tonimas Junction and Flyover Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, some people were seen with luggage, waiting for vehicles to take them out of town.

Some youths gathered around Ariaria Junction, carrying sticks and stones.

At Bakassi Bus Stop on the expressway, policemen threw teargas canisters at some youths who gathered at a nearby street.

There were unsubstantiated reports of killings and shootings in various parts of the city.

The Medical Director of Holy Wounds Hospital, Faulks Road, Aba, Dr. Uchenna Anyanwu, said two persons suspected to have been shot in Ariaria were brought in dead to his hospital.

He told the Newsmen that a mob, who believed he was on the side of the police, came to his hospital and destroyed his office because he accepted to treat some injured persons.

Anyanwu said two injured persons were being treated in his hospital.

He wondered why the mob should vandalise his hospital when he was saving lives.

At the city centre, shop owners closed their businesses. Commercial banks halted their operations.

Banks, including First Bank branches at Abayi and Asa Road, Skye Bank on St. Michael’s Road, Union Bank and Ecobank on Factory Road, remained closed.

Only Heritage Bank close to Ochendo Motor Park was open but with heavy security presence.

Newsmen learnt that the closed banks received instructions from their state headquarters offices to close and watch events.

Ariaria Market, which had been opening for skeletal sales since Wednesday, was shut on yesterday morning following an alleged attack on the Ariaria Police Station by unknown persons.

-Port Harcourt Expressway within Aba has been occupied by military men.

 Markets, schools, government and private institutions were in Aba. Others hurriedly closed down and stopped rendering essential services to customers after rumours of unrest hit the commercial town.

Most financial institutions rendered skeletal services to customers.

 There were crowds at the ATM points as many residents withdrew cash.

 A source at the Ariaria International Market, Aba told our reporter that the traders decided to stay back at home for fear of any reprisal from security agencies following the news that Ariaria Police Station had been burnt.

Other big markets in Aba, including Shopping Centre, were under lock and key.

Aba South and North local government areas’ offices were under lock and key as workers stayed away

In Umuahia, the state capital, streets were deserted. A few commercial tricyclists were on the road. Many walked to their destinations.

Hoodlums reportedly burnt part of the Ariaria Police Divisional Headquarters’ building.

Some detainees took advantage of the incident to escape from their cells.

 A source told our reporter that they suspected that the hoodlums threw several bottles containing fuel on the roof of the building, which caught fire.

  Police spokesman Geoffrey Ogbonna said no suspect had been arrested.


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