Heavily armed soldiers on Friday mounted a check point at the Oba Oguola Moat a few metres away from the Edo State Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Benin City where vehicles suspected to belong to media houses carrying Leadership and Nation newspapers were subjected to thorough search.
The strange development, WESTERN POST learnt, may not be unconnected with earlier reports that Friday’s edition of the newspapers going outside the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja were seized and destroyed by soldiers believed to acting on orders from above.
Also security agents dressed in mufti laid ambush at the NUJ premises waiting patiently for the delivery of the newspapers.
The soldiers, who spent several hours at the location, later drove away in a military Hilux van at about 9:55 am
However, the Public Relations Officer 4th Brigade Nigeria Army, Captain Abdullahi Abubakar, when contacted on telephone, said he was not aware of the development.
He stated that the soldiers in question were not from the command.
Secretary of Edo NUJ, Comrade Titus Akhigbe, while narrating his encounter with the soldiers on his way to the office, however, expressed shock at their barricade of the NUJ secretariat.
He said: “Around 6:45 am, as I was driving close to NUJ Secretariat armed soldiers stopped me and having identified myself as the Secretary of NUJ, I was asked to come down from my car. I was scared stiff because I have never seen a situation like this before that soldiers would barricade a place a few metres from NUJ.
“After the search, they asked me to go. What beats my imagination is what they are really looking for; I was even told that some of them were inside the Press Centre demanding for copies of Nation and Leadership newspapers. I had to call the army PRO and he told me that he was not aware and that he is sure the soldiers are not from the brigade,” he said.