The 144 battalion of the Nigerian Army, Asa in Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State last Sunday arrested a convoy of 33 buses conveying 486 suspected insurgents including eight females between Aro Ngwa and Imo Gate along the Enugu- Port Harcourt expressway.
The suspects intercepted around 3am on Sunday, claimed to have come from different parts of the Northern states and aged mainly between 16 and 24 and were said to be searching for jobs.
Briefing newsmen at the Headquarters of the 144 Battalion of the Army, Asa where the suspects are being detained, alongside the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Charles Ajunwa and Commander of the military base, Lieutenant Colonel Rasheed Omolori who confirmed the arrest, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Abia State, Dr. Eze Chikamnayo, explained that two buses escaped with their occupants.
Although Lieutenant Colonel Omolori declined comment, he said the incident has been reported to the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.
The Commissioner said the sheer size of the movement made it suspicious, adding that none of the suspects was able to identify the location they were heading to and wondered how such a long motorcade could not be intercepted by security personnel until they reached Abia.
Dr. Chikamnayo said that at the moment, the Army and other security agencies in the state were working to unravel the actual mission of the suspects and those behind the movement.
The Information boss thanked the state Governor, Chief Theodore Orji for creating the enabling environment and investing resources for security personnel to do their job effectively as well as lauded the men of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies for being alive to their responsibility.
He was of the view that if other security personnel in other parts of the country will do as much as their counterparts in Abia, insurgency in the country will be a thing of the past.
“I expect every state to work hand-in-hand with their security personnel to check insurgency. Every security problem is local and if we handle it locally it will be nipped in the bud,” he said.
He cited the case of Abia State during the days of kidnapping and how it was taken as an Abia problem and condemned the idea of demonstrating in Abuja over matters that should be handled locally.