Soldiers from 144 Battalion in Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State have reportedly invaded two communities in Obingwa local government area of the state in search of killers of their colleague.
The affected communities are Ukpakiri and Umuezugbe communities. The Nation gathered the soldier was killed near a military outpost located between Ukpakiri and Umuezugbe communities along the ever busy Aba-Ikot Ekpene Expressway.
It was learnt the soldier, who was not on duty at the outpost, had apparently gone out to attend to his needs but the hoodlums who operated on a Motorbike, thinking he was armed, shot him with the intention of running away with his gun.
The shooting of the soldier was said to have attracted his colleagues who could literally do nothing to save the life of their colleague who bled to death.
It was learnt that the soldiers angered by the situation, cordoned off the area including the Aba-Ikot Ekpene Expressway where movement of vehicles and persons were obstructed.
Sources within the Ukpakiri community told our reporter that the soldiers who called for reinforcement later invaded the Umuezugbe and Ukpakiri communities in an attempt to fish out the perpetrators.
According to the sources, the invasion of the soldiers in the two communities with subsequent massive arrest of members of the communities led to massive movement of people from the communities to a safer place.
They feared the people might not be able to participate in the National Assembly and Presidential election scheduled for Saturday over fears of being arrested.
Unconfirmed reports have it that many indigenes and residents of the communities who were bartered by the soldiers are currently receiving treatment in various hospitals in the state.
A military source, who spoke anonymously with our reporter, gave the name of the deceased soldier as Corporal Musa Umar.
The military source stated the villagers know the bad eggs among them, urging them to cooperate with the military by fishing out those behind the dastardly act.
He stated the intention of the perpetrators were to snatch the soldier’s gun for an illicit operation.
“You know that election is by the corner, these bad boys are going around looking for weapons that they will use to commit all manner of crimes during this election period.
“It was a police officer in Aba last week and just on Thursday, it was army checkpoint.
“We have placed our men on alert and anyone who attempts snatching a soldier’s gun will regret doing so.”
Another source within the 14 Brigade Headquarters said: “You can’t kill a soldier and go scot free. Restrictions on any of the roads were during the cordon and search.
“That road is free. You can go there yourself to see. But the community knows the bad eggs amongst them.
“They should cooperate by pointing them out. You can’t kill a soldier and go scot free.
“Elections would hold in the community and in Abia State as a whole as we are poised and ready to deal with trouble makers. But law abiding citizens have no problem.”
At the time of filing the report, it was learnt other suspects arrested during the raid of the two communities have been released, except two caught with weapons and a motorbike suspected to have been used for the operation.