Reports reaching 247ureports.com on Friday morning indicate that Defence Headquarters had ordered a clampdown on the movement of newspaper circulation vans in some parts of the country.
The directive which was allegedly given through an “an order from above” caught most of the newspapers in the FCT unawares as heavily armed soldiers waylaid the vans around the Area 1 Road, commanding the drivers to unload.
The same scenario occurred in Benin/Warri Road, Port Harcourt, Kaduna/Kano Road and Nasarawa/Jos Road.
As at the time of going to press, one of the newspaper distribution managers told our correspondent that they have been ordered to load back the newspapers pending when a superior directive is given to allow them move to various distribution centres.
He said: “We were surprised that our distribution van was stopped by heavily armed security men around Area 1 junction at about 5.05am. Other distribution vans were later stopped and we were all directed to unload. One of the military men told us that they were acting on order from above as there were allegations that newspaper circulation vehicles were being used to smuggle arms and ammunition.
“We were there for over two hours with practically all the newspapers printing in Abuja unable to get to the distribution centres while the head of the military team told us that he was waiting for a superior directive to release us.”
Efforts to speak with the Director of Defence Information, Brig.Gen. Chris Olukolade, proved abortive as all his lines were switched off.