By Kingsley Omonobi & Steve Oko
Abuja —The Nigerian Army has vowed that it will unmask, arrest and bring the perpetrators, who murdered two of its soldiers in Imo State, who were going to consummate their marriage plans, to book.
The army added that it has commenced investigation to uncover the criminals responsible for the barbaric act, adding: “The NA will ensure the perpetrators of this dastardly act unleashed on its personnel do not go unpunished.”
A statement by Director of Army Public Relations, Brig-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, said: “The Nigerian Army, on April 30, 2022, received information on the gruesome, barbaric and most despicable manner in which members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and its armed affiliate, Eastern Security Network, ESN, murdered in cold blood, two soldiers, Master Warrant Officer, MWO, Audu Linus (retired) and Private (Pte) Gloria Matthew, who were on transit to Imo State for their traditional wedding.
“Apparently, the soldiers had embarked on the trip to fulfill the traditional rites of conjugating their matrimony, as the very well respected and cherished Igbo tradition demands.
“Ironically, the fact that one of the soldiers, Pte Matthew, who hails from Nkwerre LGA of Imo State, has an ethnic affiliation with the good people of South-East did not prevail on the sensibility of the dissidents.
“This dastardly act, one too many, clearly portends the deep seated hate, desperation and lawlessness with which foot soldiers of IPOB/ESN have being unleashing terror on Ndigbo, whom they claim they are on a mission to protect and emancipate, as well as other innocent Nigerians who are resident or transiting the South-East.
“This murder, in which they did not spare even their child, clearly depicts callousness, impenitence and is indisputably, a brazen act of terrorism perpetrated by IPOB/ESN.
“Though the dissident groups have continued to live in denial, while masquerading as unknown gunmen in their criminal violent campaign in the region, the NA will ensure the perpetrators of this dastardly act unleashed on its personnel do not go unpunished.
“While we deeply condole with the families, relations and close associates of the victims, the NA has commenced investigation to unmask and bring the criminals to book.
“Members of the public are please enjoined to oblige security agencies actionable information that will lead to the arrest of these criminals.”
Army to begin shooting exercise in Abia
Meanwhile, the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, will today commence camping for a shooting competition at the headquarters of the 14 Brigade, Ohafia, Abia State, according to Army source.
A statement by 14 Brigade Public Relations Officer, Lieutenant Innocent Omale, said the exercise would last for two weeks.
The statement made available to Vanguard said the exercise would involve firing of live ammunition at the range site.
It read in part: ”The exercise is to prepare contingents of 82 Division for the forthcoming shooting competition with other divisions soon.”
The statement asked members of the public especially people in the communities around the barracks not to panic when they heard sounds of firepower. It also asked farmers the keep off from the area for the period of the exercise.