The Chairman of Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State, Dr. Okorafor Ukiwe has called for calm as troops of the Nigerian Army commence rescue operation of abducted soldier in the community.
The council boss in a statement made available to the press, appealed to indigenes of Amangwu community to return back to their homes, saying that normalcy shall be fully restored in the community. He urged traditional rulers, youths and people of Ohafia Local Government Area to be vigilant and ensure strange elements do not settle in to commit crimes.
He used the opportunity to thank law enforcement agents and the Nigerian Army for keeping with the tenants of the constitution in the discharge of their legitimate duties as he further asked residents of the local government area to go about their normal legitimate duties especially on Mondays without fear.
In a related development, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, Director Army Public Relations, Nigerian Army, 82 Division, has denied allegation of invasion of Amangwu Community by her men in search of a missing sergeant, Staff Bassey
The Army in a statement noted that the said soldier who was officially on leave pass was abducted on 2 November 2022, along Road Okwu-Ebem Ohafia in Abia State and based on intelligence report, troops embarked on a Search and Rescue Operation at Amangwu Village/Forest, alleging that it confirmed same as an Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Eastern Security Network (ESN) enclave, where the soldier was reportedly held hostage. During the search and rescue operations, contact was made with members of the proscribed armed groups resulting in exchange of fire.
The troops said it had continued the search and rescue operation in Okon Aku where it also came in contact with members of the armed groups, during which troops neutralized one of the criminals and recovered one AK 47 rifle with a magazine loaded with 7 rounds of 7.62mm (Special) and one mobile phone.
The statement added “In a follow up operation on 5 November 2022, troops raided another enclave of the groups around Amangwu Village in Abia State. During the operation, troops neutralized two of the criminals, while some fled with gunshot wounds. Troops recovered two locally fabricated AK 47 rifles, four Pump Action guns, one locally made Pistol, one Sniper rifle, six magazines, 13 rounds of 7.62mm (NATO) and one Motorcycle”.
“Other items recovered from the dissidents are 2 CCTV cameras, one solar panel, flags, one walkie-talkie, 2 mobile phones, two pamphlets of Biafran anthem, one INEC box, 12 face caps, machetes, pairs of combat boots, pairs of rain boot, camouflage uniforms, one transistor radio, two jungle hats, two knee guards, one power bank, one INEC image capturing machine and a PVC. Sadly, during these engagements, one soldier paid the supreme sacrifice”.
The Nigerian Army further warned that it will leave no stone unturned in the search of the abducted soldier while assuring the general public that all operations will be conducted within the ambit of the law and in line with global best practices, Rules of Engagement and Code of Conducts guiding its operations.