The Nigerian Army, has vowed that perpetrators of the “dastardly, despicable and barbaric” killing of two soldiers, Master Warrant Officer (MWO) Audu M Linus (retired) and Private(Pte)Gloria Matthew, will not go unpunished.
The army made the vow in a strongly worded statement issued on Tuesday by its Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, while condemning the gruesome killing of the two soldiers.
Recall that gunmen had, on Saturday, killed the two military personnel, at an unknown location in Imo State, South-east Nigeria.
The victims were reportedly beheaded after being shot dead by the gunmen.
Their corpses were said to have been dismembered by the gunmen. A gory image of their heads had gone viral on various social media platforms.
But in the army statement, Brigadier General Nwachukwu, accused the members of the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) and its armed affiliate, Eastern Security Network(ESN) of being behind the murder of the two soldiers.
He said, “The Nigerian Army (NA), on Saturday 30 April 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 M 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.”
According to him, that of the soldiers, Pte Gloria Matthew hails from from Nkwerre LGA of Imo state and has an ethnic affiliation with “the good people of South East Nigeria did not prevail on the sensibility of the dissidents.”
He further said, “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 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 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.”
The Director Army Public Relations called on members of the public to furnish security agencies with “actionable information that will lead to the arrest of these criminals.”