An appeal has gone to military authorities to reduce the number of their men in Abia State, particularly in the commercial nerve centre, Aba, and the ancestral hometown of secession advocate, Nnamdi Kanu.
The appeal was made by the state Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and traditional rulers during a meeting they held with the General Officer Commanding of 82 Division of the Army, Major General A.B. Abubakar, on Wednesday.
According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Governor, Enyinnaya Appolos, the meeting was held at the Government House, Umuahia.
The governor and the monarchs told the military chief that tension has simmered in both Aba and Umuahia.
“The Governor and the Traditional Rulers appealed to the GOC to reduce military presence in the state, particularly at Aba and umuahia, as tension in the areas has gone down,” the statement read.
The Governor and the monarch also, however, enjoined the Police and other security agencies to “ensure that those who are brought into Abia from other states, in order to cause trouble and engage in acts capable of causing breach of law and order, should be prevented from entering the state.”
The meeting agreed that the traditional rulers would further liaise with their colleague, Eze I.O. Kanu, the father of secession advocate Nnamdi Kanu, “to further explore ways of restoring peace and normalcy.”
It urged Abia people and residents who do business in the state to “go about their normal businesses without fear of molestation, while desisting from acts capable of causing the breach of peace in the state.”
A video trended online on Wednesday showing soldiers brutalising several young men believed to be either members or sympathetic to the cause of the younger Kanu’s Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) seeking to secede from Nigeria.
The deployment of soldiers to Abia State, and the South East has triggered tension in the region.