The Nigerian Army on Tuesday condemned the recent killing of two soldiers by suspected members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), saying the secessionist group is not protecting the interest of the Igbo.
Director of Army Public Relations, Onyema Nwachukwu, disclosed this in a statement, three days after gunmen killed and then beheaded two soldiers at an unknown location in Imo State.
Following the gruesome murder, military authorities 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.
Matthew hailed from Nkwerre Local Government Area of Imo state, Nigeria’s South-east, according to the army spokesperson. He 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,” the statement partly read.
“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.
According to the army spokesperson, the proscribed group has “continued to live in denial, while masquerading as unknown gunmen in their criminal (and) violent campaign in the region.”