Ebonyi: Soldiers, Policemen Fracas Over Impounded Tricycle Quelled

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A fracas on Thursday afternoon involving Traffic Wardens of the Nigeria Police and some armed Soldiers threw the popular Udensi Roundabout, few metres away from the old Ebonyi State Government House, Abakaliki, into pandemonium.

An eyewitness, who pleaded anonymity, said trouble started when some Traffic Wardens impounded a tricycle for allegedly beating the traffic light.

The tricycle driver, who could not secure the release of his work tool after a prolonged plea, contacted the owner, who, incidentally, is a Soldier.

Arriving few minutes later, the Soldier asked after the Traffic Warden who impounded his tricycle. This resulted into an argument that degenerated into a free for all as Traffic Wardens allegedly engaged the Soldier.

The imbroglio prompted a detachment of armed Soldiers on guard at the International Conference Centre, very close to the scene, to rush out and join the fray.

While attempts were being made to settle the matter inside the Conference Centre, a detachment of Mobile Policemen and Operatives of the State Anti-Robbery Squad arrived the scene and charged at the Soldiers.

The Soldiers consequently responded by cocking their guns in readiness for a deadly spree, while making calls for reinforcement from their base.

As the tension heightened with its general apprehension, it took the intervention of Senior Police Officers from the Police Headquarters in Abakaliki to calm the situation by ordering their men to down arms.

The action of the Senior Police Officers averted what would have been a major security scare and bloodshed as reinforcement from the Military Cantonment arrived in the scene minutes later.

However, it was gathered that all the parties were later taken to the Police Headquarters close to the roundabout for a truce involving the Army Cantonment Commander from Nkwoagu Military Cantonment and the most Senior Police Officer available at the time in the Command.

Spokesperson of the Ebonyi State Police Command, DSP Loveth Odah, who confirmed the incident, however noted that it was just a minor and internal misunderstanding between the security outfits and not a clash, adding that the Soldier was not directly involved.

She also confirmed that the matter had been settled in line with with the camaraderie among the Forces.

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