Three persons were on Friday reported dead in Aba, the commercial nerve of Abia State as personnel of the Nigerian Army attached to the Ngwa High
School Forward Operation Base (Charlie Coy) and personnel of
Mobile Police Force (PMF 55) unit in Osisioma Local Government Area of
While a yet to be confirmed report has it that a
police officer’s hand was severed in the shootout, another report has it
that two mobile policemen and a soldier died in the melee.
could be recalled that in 2015, soldiers from Ngwa High School FOB and
policemen of PMF 55 clashed at the same Osisioma junction, leaving a
policeman who was hit by a bullet during crossfire that lasted for about
thirty minutes dead.
While efforts to reach both police and army
hierarchy in the state until the time of this report failed to yield
fruits as the State Commissioner of Police and the spokesman of the
Command, Michael Ogbizi and Geoffrey Ogbonna were yet to reply to a text
message our correspondent sent to their phones.
who claimed to have witnessed the incident feared that incident which
caused pandemonium at the major exit and entrance route into the
commercial nerve of the state also wounded many passersby.
to one Chinyere Ikem, the incident forced many shop owners to quickly
close for business while many petty traders along the Expressway
abandoned their wares to scamper for safety as lorry load of mobile and
regular policemen arrived the scene that is already charged with
Ikem said that while some passengers going to different
parts of the country that were yet to board vehicles to their locations
were trapped in the shootout, others coming into the country, used
alternative routes to avoid being caught in the web of the crisis.
happened like what we used to watch in American movies. It happened in a
flash and before you know what is happening, trucks of army and police
vans were everywhere.
Police and army were shooting themselves
face-to-face. From what we later learnt, two policemen and a soldier
died in the gun duel. It is better seeing that being told. I don’t know
what is happening at this Osisioma junction. Don’t forget that some time
ago, police and army clashed here and shoot at each other leaving one
“I saw some people running with blood stain and I
guess that they were hit be stray bullets. Police and army leadership
in the state should call themselves to order. They are sister agencies
and I don’t think that it is in their own interest to be fighting among
themselves when they are supposed to be working hand in hand with each
other especially as the state Governor is doing his best in tackling
insecurity in the state,” Ikem stated.
has since returned to the area at the time our reporter visited the
scene, shop owners were yet to open for business as people in clusters
recount their experience of the incident.
However in a swift
reaction, Abia State Government in a press release through the
commissioner of information in the state, Chief John Okiyi said that the
state 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 (Friday June 15).”
said that the state government was working with heads of security to
bring the situation under control also assured that investigation was
ongoing to know the cause of the incident and to fish out those behind
“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
“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.
“While we are currently working with
law enforcement agencies to review the immediate and remote cause of
the incidence, members of the public are advised to go about their
normal duties as the situation around the area has been pacified.
“Those responsible for this breach of public peace will certainly be unraveled and punished according the law,” Okiyi added.