By Jacob Kubeka (ABUJA) –
President Muhammadu Buhari has, On behalf of the government and the entire nation, expressed deep condolences to the Nigerian Army and the families of Master Warrant Officer Audu Linus and his partner, Private Gloria Mathew, who were beheaded after being shot by the terrorist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), on Saturday.
The beheading of the two soldiers was confirmed by the Nigerian Army, through its spokesperson, Onyema Nwachukwu, who said in a statement on Tuesday that the killing of the two soldiers by suspected members of the outlawed IPOB has shown that the secessionist group does not work for the interest of the Igbo.
The corpses were inhumanely treated and gleefully posted on social media platforms.
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant (Media & Publicity), Garba Shehu today, The President joied fellow citizens in expressing deep sense of shock and condemns the barbarism of the perpetrators of this unfortunate incident, and similar acts of violence against law enforcement agents, describing it as alien to all cultures and civilizations.
President Buhari called on all leaders – community, regional and national – to “speak with one voice, to show that the entire country is one against this cruel and barbaric act of violence. This is unacceptable.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of this sad and tragic incident,” said the President.
The President also directed the military authorities and other security agencies to do their utmost in apprehending the perpetrators of these barbaric acts and bring them to justice.
The Nigerian Military also confirmed that the victims, Linus Audu, a retired Master Warrant Officer, and his partner, Gloria Matthew, a Private, were travelling to Imo State for their traditional wedding when they were attacked and killed by the gunmen.
According to the army spokesperson, Mrs Matthew hailed from Nkwerre Local Government Area of Imo state, Nigeria’s South-east.
Mr Nwachukwu expressed surprise that the outlawed group killed the female soldier despite being an indigene of the South-east, where the terror group claim they are on a mission to protect and liberate.
“Ironically, the fact that one of the soldiers, Gloria Matthew who hails from Nkwerre Local Government Area 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.
“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.
“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,” he said.
The army spokesperson said the proscribed group has “continued to live in denial, while masquerading as unknown gunmen in their criminal (and) violent campaign in the region.”
He said the Nigerian Army will ensure that the gunmen who carried out the dastardly act on its personnel are punished.
Mr Nwachukwu, who condoled with the families and associates of the victims, said the army had commenced investigation to “unmask and bring the criminals to book.”
He enjoined the public to provide security agencies with “actionable information” that will lead to the arrest of the suspects.
(With additional report by Premium Times)