It was a free for all fight on Thursday between the Army and policemen in Aba, the commercial nerve centre of Abia state, as over fifty soldiers stormed the Aba Area Command in search of a policeman who allegedly slapped their colleague.
The soldiers who came in five Hilux jeeps and an Armoured Personnel Carrier APC, had threatened to burn down the station should the police fail to produce the policeman.
We gathered that trouble started when a policeman in company of his wife were involved in a minor traffic accident as they hit the car of a soldier with their Mercedes Benz car.
The soldier, who was carrying his colleague was said to have alighted from the car and slapped the policeman, an action that led to serious fight between the two security operatives.
Our correspondent learnt that the incident which took place at Jubilee road junction, near the Aba Area Command attracted the attention of a policeman who pleaded with the soldiers to forget the incident, but the Khaki uniform operatives refused.
However, as argument rages, the other soldier made a call across to their colleagues who stormed the scene in their numbers and started flogging everybody in sight, including policemen.
When the information filtered in to the Aba Area Command, the policemen mobilized and blocked the gate with their own Armoured Personnel Carrier, APC, threatening to return fire for fire, just as some of them vowed to deal with the intruding soldiers if they dare cross their gate.
The situation further aggravated when one of the soldiers stabbed a Deputy Superintendent of Police DSP, identified as Rotimi who was discussing with another soldier on how to bring the situation under control.
As a result of the soldiers’s action, more policemen ran into the premises of the command and brought out their rifles in readiness for any uncertainty. Minutes later, another Hilux jeep filled with soldiers landed on the scene at top speed.
Our correspondent reports that the incident would have degenerated but for the quick intervention of the Aba Area Commander, Assistant commissioner of police, ACP Tunde Mobayo and the Commander of the Army unit at Ngwa road, Major Bello who appealed to both parties to sheath their sword. When all the frayed nerves eventually calmed down, not less than two policemen and five shop owners, including some passersby sustained various degrees of injuries inflicted on them by the soldiers before the arrival of the senior officers of the two security agencies.