Killing of soldiers: Go after killers, not innocent citizens, LP urges military

The leadership of the Labour Party has strongly denounced the brutal killing of five soldiers deployed to protect citizens in Abia state over the Biafran Day celebration on Thursday. 

In a statement on Sunday by the National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, “the party, however, calls on the military to go after the perpetrators only to avoid any collateral damage on the side of the Innocent and law abiding citizens.”

The statement continued, “Labour Party also commends Abia state governor, Dr. Alex Otti, for his prompt action by pledging to support the military in whatever possible means to ensure that the culprits are brought to book and for also announcing a N25 million bounty on the perpetrators of the heinous crime.

“While we commiserate with the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Taoreed Lagbaja and the entire military command on the unfortunate incident and pray for the repose of the soul of the gallant heroes, we are however worried by the threat by the military command to avenge the death of the soldiers. We urge the military to be professional in their approach for vengeance in other to avoid further loss of lives. 

“Unknown gun men or whatever names they chose to bear do not deserve to be spared. They have caused untold and unnecessary pains to the South East and deserved to be wiped out but we urge that the military response to this latest act of provocation must be measured and targeted at these elements alone.

“Abia state has remained the most peaceful state in the whole of South East obviously due to the untiring efforts of the state government to weed the state of all criminal element in the last one year, therefore, the Labour Party thinks this latest attack was a deliberate act to conflagrate the state with actions capable of attracting reprisal from the military. 

“We urge the military not to fall into the bait set by these men who will soon meet their Waterloo. Abia state has witnessed massive developmental strides in the area of infrastructure, and has been turn into an investment haven, we therefore urge the military not to allow this unfortunate incident to recede the progress.

“The military’s threat to retaliate with a fierce response and to bring ‘overwhelming military pressure on the group to ensure their total defeat’ is of a fact, in order but it is a threat with potentials of engendering a humanitarian crisis if the retaliation turns out to be occupational, indiscriminate and unrestricted. 

“News from Aba and its environ is scary as youths and young men are reported to have started deserting the area for the fear of their lives. Meanwhile, the perpetrators must have most certainly fled from the area leaving the Innocent and the vulnerable at the mercy of the military.

“On this note, we urge the military to deploy more intelligence gathering in identifying the culprits, and root them out. Any onslaught against the citizens by way of abduction or extra judicial extermination will be regrettable.”