President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday expressed shock over the killing of a military couple in Imo State.
SaharaReporters had reported how A.M Linus, a Master Warrant Officer in the army and his Private officer wife, Pte Gloria Matthew were shot dead and beheaded on Saturday.
After beheading the couple, the gunmen were said to have called their family members to mock them.
A gory video of the incident seen by SaharaReporters showed the gunmen putting the heads on the victims’ chests after the incident.
A phone conversation with the suspected gunmen, believed to have been initiated by a friend of the slain female soldier, has also surfaced online.
In the phone conversation obtained by SaharaReporters, a suspected gunman admitted that he killed the couple.
The gunman said they were aggrieved that the military has been consistently killing innocent residents in its efforts to get them (gunmen).
“It’s quite unfortunate that it is this way. I killed both of them yesterday,” the suspected gunman was heard saying in the phone conversation.
Reacting to the incident, Buhari in a statement signed by one of his media aides, Garba Shehu, accused IPOB of being responsible for the gruesome murder of the couple.
He reiterated his directive to law enforcement agencies and the military to deal sternly with anti-social elements bent on harming innocent citizens and creating fear and uncertainties under whatever guise.
The statement read, “On behalf of the government and the entire nation, President Muhammadu Buhari expresses deep condolences to the Nigerian Army and the families of Master Warrant Officer Audu Linus and his partner, Private Gloria Mathew, who were beheaded after being shot by the terrorist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, on Saturday as confirmed by the Nigerian Army.
“The corpses were inhumanely treated and gleefully posted on social media platforms.”
“The President joins fellow citizens in expressing a deep sense of shock and condemns the barbarism of the perpetrators of this unfortunate incident, and similar acts of violence against law enforcement agents, describing it as alien to all cultures and civilizations.
“President Buhari calls on all leaders – community, regional and national – to speak with one voice, to show that the entire country is one against this cruel and barbaric act of violence. This is unacceptable. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of this sad and tragic incident,” said the President.
“The President has directed the military authorities and other security agencies to do their utmost in apprehending the perpetrators of these barbaric acts and bring them to justice,” the statement added.
The Nigerian government has on several occasions accused IPOB of being responsible for the attacks in the South East region. But the group has repeatedly denied involvement in the attacks.