Yuletide: Police informant warns traders of imminent bomb blast in Ariaria market

THERE is a growing panic in Ariaria Market, Aba, Abia State, over a possible bomb attack, The ICIR can confirm.

A top source in the Police had approached the market leadership to issue the warning on Tuesday, December 7.

The Police officer who visited office of the chairman of Ariaria Market at about 12:20 pm warned the leaders to be extremely cautious.

The officer was disappointed the market leader, an uncle to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, was not seated as at the time of visit.

Pathway to the staircase leading to the Ariaria market chairman’s office. Photo Source: Olugbenga Adanikin, The ICIR.

He approached the personal assistant to the market leader to demand the chairman’s mobile number and made a call, which he said he would not have done on phone but for the sensitivity of the case.

“Are you hearing me? Some vehicles coming from the North, those of your customers, and fellow traders. What you will do is, tell your security people so that they can place an alert, and search the vehicles because of a security breach,” he said in a phone conversation.

“I will ask for him. I am just telling you. That is why I asked after you,” the Police officer responded, after being directed to meet with the chief security officer (CSO) of the market as the chairman was unavailable.

“What you will do is to place a security alert in the market.”

“Let them know before anybody comes in, they will have to do a check to avoid a bomb,” the policeman said, as he restlessly tapped fingers on the nearby table.

“I am not supposed to be telling you this on phone. I ought to see you physically, but since the situation is really urgent, that’s why I asked of you.”

“I will drop my number with your PA. This is my number. Maybe when you return, you can call me.”

The police officer later moved down the staircase to continue the conversation. Shortly after, he demanded to see the CSO.

But the CSO also was not at the office, the Police officer learnt.

Thereafter, he demanded to see the personal assistant to the CSO.

The ICIR reporter watched as he met with the PA to the CSO in a private office.

 

It was learnt that traders from Cameroun, Gabon, and other neighbouring countries across the West Africa region visit the market for trading activities.

The market is expected to witness more visits from traders, especially as people purchase goods ahead of the Christmas and New Year celebrations.




    The South-East states have, in recent times, witnessed some level of insecurity due to secession agitation and herder-farmer crisis.

    The state of insecurity is, however, not peculiar to the region but to other parts of the country where kidnappings, killings, and other forms of anxiety have become the order of the day.

    Onyebuchi Ememanka, chief press secretary (CPS) to the governor, was contacted for a reaction but he did not respond to calls and text messages sent to him. WhatsApp message sent to him was also not replied to.

    WhatsApp message to CPS to Abia State Governor acknowledged with no response. Photo Credit: Olugbenga Adanikin, The ICIR.

    The Abia State Police Command Spokesperson Geoffrey Ogbonna did not also respond to calls and a text message sent to him for comment.

    Olugbenga heads the Investigations Desk at The ICIR. Do you have a scoop? Shoot him an email at [email protected]. Twitter Handle: @OluAdanikin

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