By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Nigerian Army says gruesome murder of two soldiers by members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed affiliate, Eastern Security Network (ESN), is callous and despicable.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that report of killing of Audu Linus, a retired Master Warrant Officer and Gloria Matthew, a private solder by IPOB/ESN had surfaced on social media.
The report had it that members of IPOB/ESN claimed responsibility for the murder of the two soldiers, who said to be traveling to Imo for their traditional marriage before their unfortunate demise.
Army headquarters reacted to the killing via a statement by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Onyechukwu, on Tuesday in Abuja.
Nwachukwu said the soldiers had apparently embarked on the trip to fulfill the traditional rites of conjugating their matrimony as Igbo tradition demanded.
He said it was ironical that one of the soldiers, Pte. Matthew, who hailed from Nkwerre Local Government Area of Imo did not prevail on the sensibility of the dissidents.
According to him, this dastardly act, one too many, clearly portends the deep seated hate, desperation and lawlessness with which foot soldiers of IPOB/ESN have been unleashing terror on the people.
He said the dissident group had been unleashing terror on Ndigbo, whom they claimed they were on a mission to protect and emancipate, as well as other innocent Nigerians who were resident or transiting the South East.
“This gruesome murder, in which they did not spare even their own 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 Nigerian army 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, Nigerian army 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,” he said. (NAN)