Killing of Soldiers In Aba

...Abia State Government Places N25 Million Bounty On Perpetrators

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The Abia State Government has noted with great regret the ugly incident that occurred on Thursday, May 30, 2024 at around 7:45 am at Obikabia Junction, in the Ogbor Hill area, Obingwa LGA, near Aba, where suspected criminal elements operating with several SUVs opened fire on men of the Nigerian Army on security duty, leading to the killing of five soldiers.

The Abia State Government wishes to commiserate with the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Taoreed A. Lagbaja, and the Military High Command in the country for the unfortunate incident and pray for the peaceful repose of the soul of the gallant soldiers who died in active duty.
According to a Press Statement by the Commissioner of Information and Culture, Prince Okey Kanu,as a Government committed to security, safety and peace within its territory at all times, the Abia State Government considers the event of Thursday, May 30, 2024 a serious affront to its resolve by criminal elements who are hell-bent on returning Abia to the dark days of insecurity and fear amongst citizens, especially in Aba, the economic heartbeat of the State.
This is more regrettable in the light of the fact that unprecedented investments have been made in the last one year to restore the city’s public infrastructure and reposition it as an attractive investment destination for local and foreign businesses.

The Government will therefore respond appropriately to reassure citizens, investors and friends of Abia across the world that it would be relentless in bringing the full wrath of the law to bear on anyone or group who constitutes the slightest threat to the peace and security of the land, whatever be their motivation.

To underscore its resolve, the State Government is offering a N25 million (Twenty-five Million Naira) reward to anyone with useful information that could lead to the location and arrest of any of the criminals connected to the unfortunate killings, and the subsequent state of apprehension across the city of Aba and environs. The security formations in the State have been directed to treat informants with all the confidentiality required to guarantee their full cooperation and assistance until the criminals are fully apprehended and brought to book.

Furthermore, the Abia State Government will, in line with its commitment to the welfare of the security operatives working within its territory, take up the responsibility of supporting the families of the slain soldiers, including payment of regular stipends to their spouses, and the education of their children to university level. It is the least the State can do for the soldiers who died in brave service to their fatherland.  

The Government will also like to specially appreciate the officers and men of the Nigerian Army in the State for maintaining a high sense of professionalism in their response to the very distressing event. The State will also encourage our military and security personnel to continue to show restraint, whether at the checkpoints, on patrol, or while engaged in other security duties, even as the Government continues to work with all relevant stakeholders, including the security high commands, traditional and community leaders to gather and process all intelligence information which will ultimately lead to the capture of the perpetrators of the heinous crime at Obikabia Junction, and anyone directly or remotely connected to it in any form.  

The Government wishes to use this medium to encourage citizens to go about their legitimate duties without fear as necessary measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of residents, and businesses in all parts of Abia. Individuals with useful information on the activities and movement of criminals in their neighbourhood are also advised to share such information with the security agencies as quickly as possible for necessary action.

Traditional and community leaders in all parts of the State are by this communication advised to set up suitable local intelligence gathering mechanisms in their localities and share whatever new information they get with the security agencies regularly. The State Government shall not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law to bear on any traditional or community leader found to be harbouring criminal elements in their domains.

Lastly, the Abia State Government will continue to give all necessary support to the security agencies in the State for the purpose of protecting lives and property. Very importantly, the earlier warning to criminal elements to consider all parts of Abia as a no-go area is still in force. Any attempt to test the will of the Government, as happened on Thursday, May 30, 2024, shall be resisted with every resource at the disposal of the State. Abia shall remain very hospitable and accommodating to all law-abiding citizens and those who engage only in legitimate businesses as defined by the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria while it shall continue to be a very hostile space for anyone whose actions or inactions, are capable of disrupting the peace and security of our communities.
The Army in their own release by the
Director Defence Media Operations,Major General Edward Buba
On attack on troops of operation UDO KA at checkpoint stated that

1. Troops of OP UDO KA deployed at Obikabia Junction Checkpoint in Obingwa Local Government Areas adjourning Aba metropolis in Abia State were attacked and sadly killed by terrorist of IPOB/ ESN. The troops deployed to enforce peace in the area and protect the citizens were massed attacked by the terrorist. The terrorist in 3 tinted Prado Toyota SUVs and others from builtup areas surrounding the checkpoint, sprang a surprise attack on the checkpoint.

2. The attack sadly took the lifes of 5 personnel of the armed forces killed in action.
The armed forces mourns the death of these troops as each and every soldier lost in battle is a terrible loss. Meanwhile, investigation are ongoing concerning the attack.

3. Overall, it must be reinterated that the lifeline of the terrorist is the people and this situation is no exemption. Winning the war without the support of the people is close to impossible. The IPOB capitalised on this to perpetrate attacks on the troops. The situation leaves more to be desired.

4. Accordingly, it is absolutely imperative that the military retaliate against this dastardly act against troops. The military would be fierce in its response. We would bring overwhelming military pressure on the group to ensure their total defeat.

There has been palpable tension in Aba, Abia State since Thursday, following the killing of five soldiers by yet-to-be-identified gunmen at a military checkpoint at the said Obikabia Junction in the Obingwa Local Councils of the state.

Though the Indigenous People of Biafra was yet to claim the attack, the development came following the warning to the people of the South-East to stay indoors on May 30, to mark Biafra Day.

Business activities were paralysed across states in the South-East, as the IPOB enforced sit-at-home to mark what it called Biafra Day and Aba has known no peace.