The Nigerian Army has accused members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and Eastern Security Network, ESN of killing two soldiers on their wedding day in Imo state.
The soldiers, Master Warrant Officer (MWO) Audu M Linus (retired) and Private (Pte), Gloria Matthew, were murdered on Saturday in what has been described as gruesome, barbaric and most despicable manner.
They were said to be on transit to Imo state for their traditional wedding when they were allegedly attacked and killed in cold blood.
The army confirmed that the soldiers had embarked on the trip to fulfil the traditional rites of conjugating their matrimony, as the Igbo tradition demands.
The army noted that the fact that one of the soldiers, Miss Matthew who hails from Nkwerre Local Government Area of the state, has an ethnic affiliation with the good people of South-East Nigeria 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 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 army statement, signed by Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, Director of Public Relations, said.
“This gruesome murder, in which they did not spare even their own child, clearly depicts callousness, impenitence and is indisputable, 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. “