Unknown Gunmen: Soldiers Allegedly Humiliate Senator Abaribe

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, representing Abia South Senatorial District, was reportedly humiliated and ordered out of his Land Cruiser bulletproof SUV by soldiers following the killing of five military personnel at the Obikabia junction military checkpoint in Aba, Abia State on Thursday.

According to reports, the trouble began when unknown gunmen, suspected to be members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), killed five soldiers at the checkpoint during the May 30 Biafra Day celebrations.

In response, security forces deployed reinforcements and blocked roads in key areas of Aba North Local Government, extending into some villages in the Obingwa area.

Meanwhile, on his way to attend a funeral in Obingwa, Senator Abaribe encountered a military barricade at Itu Ngwa village, where his vehicle was stopped. Despite explanations from his police security detail, Joe, the soldiers insisted that Abaribe must alight from his vehicle.

He eventually complied, was delayed for some time, and then allowed to proceed.

At the funeral, Abaribe reportedly told attendees that after the soldiers humiliated him and later allowed him to go, he called Governor Alex Otti, explaining the situation and requesting a calming statement. However, Otti, according to a source, declined to issue any statement to avoid aggravating the situation.

On his way home after the funeral, Abaribe was again stopped by another group of soldiers who also ordered him out of his bulletproof SUV. Despite introducing himself as a senator, he was delayed again before being allowed to leave.

Abaribe later detoured to Umuahia instead of his village, Ohuru in Obingwa LGA, from where he returned to Abuja on the first flight on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has vowed to respond fiercely to the slaying of the troops and apprehend the perpetrators. A statement endorsed by the Director of Defence Media Operations, Major General Edward Buba, indicated that IPOB/ESN members were fingered for the attack.

“Troops of Operation Udo Ka deployed at Obikabia Junction Checkpoint in Obingwa Local Government Areas adjoining Aba metropolis in Abia State were attacked and sadly killed by terrorists of IPOB/ESN. The troops deployed to enforce peace in the area and protect the citizens were mass attacked by the terrorists. The terrorists in three tinted Prado Toyota SUVs and others from built-up areas surrounding the checkpoint launched a surprise attack on the checkpoint.

“The attack sadly took the lives of five personnel of the armed forces. The armed forces mourn the death of these troops as each and every soldier lost in battle is a terrible loss. Meanwhile, investigations are ongoing concerning the attack.

“Accordingly, it is absolutely imperative that the military retaliate against this dastardly act against troops. The military will be fierce in its response. We will bring overwhelming military pressure on the group to ensure their total defeat,” the statement said.

It’s worth noting that Abaribe had previously signed a bail bond for Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB, who According to Nigerian Government failed to meet his bail conditions, was re-arrested, and is currently in custody. Consequently, IPOB had recently called for a sit-at-home protest on May 30 to commemorate Biafra Day.


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