The Nigerian Army (NA) has attributed last weekend’s murder of two soldiers in Imo State to members of the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) and its armed affiliate, Eastern Security Network(ESN).
The Army further described the gruesome murder as a “dastardly act, one too many, (and) clearly portends the deep-seated hate, desperation and lawlessness with which foot soldiers of IPOB/ESN have been unleashing terror on Ndigbo”.
Master Warrant Officer (MWO) Audu M Linus (retired) and Private(Pte) Gloria Matthew were on transit to Imo State for their traditional wedding when they were killed by persons described as “unknown gunmen”.
The soldiers had embarked on the trip to fulfil the traditional rites of conjugating their matrimony, as the respected and cherished Igbo tradition demands
But the Army did not mince words when it said in a release by Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu that: “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 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. The release was titled:
“Gruesome Murder of Two Soldiers By IPOB/ESN, Callous and Despicable’.
While noting that 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 Nigeria, General Onyema said that was not enough to prevail on the sensibility of the dissidents.
“This gruesome 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”, General Onyema started.
The Army spokesman further enjoined members of the public to oblige security agencies with actionable information that will lead to the arrest of the criminal act.