Heavy presence of soldiers on Kaduna streets sparks panic

Nigerian soldiers on patrol in Maiduguri

Heavy security presence in Kaduna metropolis Thursday stirred panic among residents as the Council of State meeting holds in Abuja.

There is a lull in business activities in the city and attendance at schools are poor as parents return their children back home upon noticing the unusual presence of armed soldiers on major streets in the metropolis.

Some parents, who spoke to our reporter, said the heavy presence of soldiers on the street was a signal that something might be amiss.

“We feel there are some security concerns somewhere, especially with people expecting the postponement of election at the Council of State meeting,” one parent said.

Our reporter who went round the city saw armed soldiers at strategic positions along NEPA round about, Leventis Roundabout, Katsina Round About, Badiko/Government House Area, Malali, Badarawa, Kawo area, Barnawa as well as along Constitution road among others when our reporter went round town.

Commuters said the presence of the soldiers has caused heavy traffick gridlock because motorists, including commercial bus operators, were prevented from plying routes such as St Azikwe, Malali, Badarawa or stoping at their usual bus stops along Ahmadu Bello Way and around Sheik Abubakar Gumi Market.

A senior military source, who asked not to be named because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, however said the heavy presence of soldiers is a normal security precaution and has no connection with any anticipated political decision in the country.

“There is nothing unusual in the presence of the army in most streets today,” he said. It’s a routine security exercise that has no connection with any anticipated decision on election postponement as rumoured.”

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