July 20, 2024

The Abia State government, under Governor Alex Otti, has announced a N25 million bounty for information leading to the arrest of the gunmen responsible for the murder of five soldiers at Obikabia Junction, Ogbor Hill, Aba.

The brutal attack, which took place on Thursday, also saw the assailants set ablaze two patrol vans and a military checkpoint before escaping with the soldiers’ rifles. In response, the state government has taken a firm stand against this act of violence.

In a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information, Prince Okey Kanu, the government condemned the attack and extended condolences to the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Taoreed Lagbaja, and the military high command. The government expressed deep sorrow over the loss of the soldiers, who were killed while on active duty.

“As a government committed to security, safety, and peace, the Abia State Government considers the event of Thursday, May 30, 2024, a serious affront to its resolve by criminal elements intent on returning Abia to a state of insecurity and fear, particularly in Aba,” the statement read. “This is especially regrettable given the significant investments made in the past year to restore the city’s infrastructure and attract investment.”

To reinforce its commitment to justice, the government is offering a N25 million reward for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators. Security agencies have been instructed to ensure the confidentiality of informants to encourage cooperation.

Additionally, the state government pledged support for the families of the slain soldiers, including stipends for spouses and educational support for their children up to university level. The government also commended the Nigerian Army’s professionalism in responding to the attack and urged continued restraint and cooperation among security personnel.

The statement also called on traditional rulers to establish local intelligence mechanisms and share any new information with security agencies.

The government reiterated its commitment to protecting lives and property and warned that any attempts to disrupt the peace would be met with full resistance.

“Abia will remain hospitable to law-abiding citizens and businesses, while being hostile to those whose actions threaten our communities’ peace and security,” the statement concluded.

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