Soldiers brutalise men on dreadlocks in Abia

There was panic at Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State, as masked soldiers reportedly arrested, flogged and shaved off the hair of young men wearing dreadlocks and those with bushy and tinted hair, and also took them to an unknown destination.

To some of the residents who witnessed the incident, they said they are scared that another season of Operation Python Dance might have commenced in the state, adding that the inhuman treatment meted out to the young men and innocent youths was uncalled for.

An eyewitness, who pleaded anonymity, said the soldiers visited major streets in the city dehumanising young men and taking them to an unknown destination without any explanation, adding that, “Their targets were young men, who wore dreadlocks and those who tinted their hair.

“The masked soldiers flogged many of their victims and used scissors to cut off the hair and then threw the victims into their vehicles and zoomed off.

A human rights lawyer in Aba, Chief Prince Ukaegbu, described the action of the soldiers as illegal and an unbridled display of power.

The acting Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 14 Brigade, Ohafia, Major Aliu Kadiri, confirmed the incident, saying that the Nigerian Army headquarters were aware of the matter.

“If there is a new special operation going on in Aba, I will find out from the commanding officer and confirm. We are on the issue of the haircut. Our headquarters have called us on it; we are handling the matter.”

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