₦25m Price Tag On Heads Of Aba Soldier Killers, Otti Declares

The Abia state government has put a hefty price tag on the heads of the killers of five soldiers who were brutally murdered at Obikabia junction, Ogbor Hill, Aba, offering a N25 million bounty to anyone with information that can lead to their arrest and conviction.

Yesterday, a group of unidentified gunmen unleashed a brutal attack on a military checkpoint, claiming the lives of five soldiers and setting two patrol vehicles and the checkpoint ablaze, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.

The attackers made off with the soldiers’ rifles, fleeing the scene of the carnage. In a strongly worded statement, the State government, through its Commissioner for Information, Prince Okey Kanu, denounced the assault, offering condolences to the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Taoreed Lagbaja, and the Military High Command for the tragic loss. The government also paid tribute to the fallen soldiers, praying for their souls to rest in peace.

The statement read; “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.

Pledging to prioritize the welfare of the security operatives working in the state, the state government also promised 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.

Read also: Abia State Is My Home, I’m Not Scared Of Returning – Kanu

“The government appreciates the officers and men of the Nigerian Army in the State for maintaining high sense of professionalism in their response to the 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.”

The government has appealed to traditional rulers to establish robust local intelligence networks, sharing timely information with security agencies to prevent criminal activities. Additionally, the government has warned traditional rulers that failure to cooperate or harboring criminal elements will result in severe legal action.

The state government has reiterated its promise to provide security agencies with the necessary backing to safeguard citizens and their properties.

Additionally, the government has reaffirmed its warning to criminal elements, stating that every part of Abia remains off-limits, and any attempts to compromise security will be dealt with swiftly and decisively.

The government has warned that any future attempts to challenge its authority, similar to the incident on Thursday, May 30, 2024, will be met with firm resistance, utilizing all available resources.

Abia will continue to extend a warm welcome to law-abiding citizens and those engaged in legitimate activities, as defined by federal laws, while maintaining a zero-tolerance policy towards individuals whose actions or omissions threaten the peace and security of our communities, making it a very inhospitable environment for them.

Africa Today News, New York 

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