Enemies of Abia progress likely murdered soldiers in Aba: Otti

On May 30, five soldiers were killed by yet-to-be-identified gunmen at the Obikabia Junction in Aba.

Governor Alex Otti says the Abia government has started receiving credible intelligence on the killing of five soldiers, which took place on May 30 in Aba.

Mr Otti disclosed this on Thursday when he paid a morale-boosting visit to the officers and men of the 144 Battalion Nigerian Army at the Ngwa High School, Aba.

On May 30, five soldiers were killed by yet-to-be-identified gunmen at the Obikabia Junction in Aba.

The governor said he was on a visit to address the soldiers on the killing of five soldiers at the Obikabia junction. He said the government’s efforts to gather intelligence on the incident had started producing results and would be sustained.

He said, “We have started getting very credible information. This intelligence gathering will continue, but I do not want it to dampen your morale. We have all been working together to secure this state in the last one year that I have been the governor of the state, and I want to encourage you to continue your work; don’t get distracted.

“I believe, from credible intelligence available to us, that this criminal act may have been executed by people who are opposed to the progress and the good things that are happening in Abia. So, we will get to the root of the matter, we will arrest everyone that is involved.”

Mr Otti said he had visited the widows of the five slain soldiers and promised the commitment of the government to keep giving them adequate welfare support as well as place their children on scholarship until they graduate from the university.

He explained that the government valued the Nigerian Army’s contributions to security in Abia and assured the soldiers of its support.

The governor said, “I feel it is my responsibility as the chief security officer of the state to speak to you, commiserate with you, and also ensure that your morale is boosted, that you don’t get discouraged, and you don’t get distracted by this unfortunate incident.

“The state had already placed a bounty of N25 million on anybody who has information that will lead to the arrest and prosecution of people who were involved in this dastardly act, remotely or directly.”

Mr Otti also appealed to the army to carry out its investigation, conscious that some of the people already arrested during their investigation may be innocent.

He said he had been informed that the people taken by the Nigerian Army for questioning had been released, except for about 10 people who were still being investigated.

“We support thorough investigation, but we will also appeal to you that a lot of innocent civilians, who you will encounter, may not have been involved.

“I believe that most of them are not involved. It is even possible that those who committed this crime came from outside the state. So whatever be the case, we will not like to punish those who are innocent with those who are guilty because, like it is said, two wrongs cannot make a right,” the Abia governor said.

He commended the Nigerian Army for showing commitment to its duty of protecting the citizens, contributing immensely to the safety of lives and property in Abia.

Mr Otti urged the soldiers to remain alert and not to let the killing of their colleagues dampen their spirit.


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