Biafra: Soldiers Assault Newspapers Sales Reps, Arrest 2 Vendors in Aba
By Ugochukwu Alaribe & Eric Ugbor
4th March 2017
ABA-Soldiers of the Forward Operation Base, FOB, stationed at Ngwa road, Aba, Abia State, has assaulted the Aba sales representatives of Thisday, Punch and Authority Newspapers and arrested two newspaper vendors including a 64 year old woman, Jacima, over alleged sale of pro Biafra newspapers.
Trouble started for the victims when the soldiers in two hilux vans stormed a newspaper distribution centre at St. Michael’s road, Aba, in a commando-style and ordered vendors including those who came to buy newspapers and magazines to sit on the floor and identify themselves.
Vanguard gathered that when the Thisday sales rep, Mr. Simeon Obi identified himself, the soldiers demanded for his official identity card but his explanation that the card was in his office upstairs infuriated the soldiers who bundled him into one of the waiting hilux vans.
Also it was reported that soldiers allegedly assaulted the sales rep of the Authority newspapers, Mrs. Chinyere Ibe who was giving newspapers to vendors when the soldiers arrived and asked her to identify herself.
An eyewitness said, “Immediately the woman said “I’m with the Authority Newspapers”, one of the soldiers gave her severe slaps and said, “You say you be authority, who gave you that authority, who made you the authority of this town? If I hear you be authority again, I will deal with you.”
The Punch, Thisday and Authority sales reps including the two vendors were later taken to the army base at Ngwa High school.
The Army Captain in charge of the base was reported to have released the newspaper sales reps. As at the time of filing this report, the two vendors including the 64 year old woman, Jacima who was said to have been discharged from the hospital a day before her arrest, are still being held by the Army.
When contacted, Commanding Officer, 144 Battalion, Asa, Abia State, Lt. Col. Ksssim Umar Sidi, who denied that the suspects were assaulted added that they have been handed over to the Department of State Services, DSS.