Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
As tension remains on the rise in Ohafia, Abia State, following Wednesday’s clash between unknown gunmen and soldiers, the new Commander 14 Brigade Nigerian Army, Brig. Gen. Adegoke Adetuyi, has vowed to deal with the “criminals” behind the incident.
Gen. Adetuyi who made the vow when delegates of traditional rulers and elders in Ohafia, led by the Local Government Chairman, Dr Okoroafor Ukiwe, visited the Brigade headquarters, said that masterminds of the incident would be fished out and prosecuted.
The new Brigade Commander who assumed duty barely 24 hours before the confrontation, said that he had “not come to the state to romance with criminals.”
Ikengaonline had reported that a shootout between unknown gunmen and soldiers at Ohafia led to the killing of a soldier and two persons.
Gen. Adetuyi said he had come “to constitutionally do everything possible in ensuring peace is maintained without compromise in Ohafia and the whole of Abia State.”
He accused members of the Eastern Security Network, ESN, of responsibility for “the killing of a young innocent soldier and a lady,” and vowed to “eradicate criminals from Ohafia and environs.”
The Army chief tasked traditional rulers in Ohafia to talk to their subjects on the need to eschew violence, and embrace peace.
He further advised them against harbouring criminals in their domain.
This, he said, “is necessary so that innocent and law abiding citizens will not be subjected to unnecessary inconveniences or get hurt.”
The Brigade Commander said that there was need for the delegates to sign an undertaking assuring of their undiluted support for peace and security in Ohafia.
He further enjoined all stakeholders to report any act inimical to the peace and security of the communities, stressing that with synergy success could be achieved.
Earlier in his speech, Chairman of Ohafia LGA, Dr Okoroafor Ukiwe, expressed worry over the incident and condoled with the Commander over the death of his soldier.
He assured the Commander that the Council was making efforts to ensure that there was no repeat of similar incident in the future.
The stakeholders later agreed to synergise with the army and other security agencies to improve security in the area.