The Labour Party leadership has appealed to the Nigerian Army to focus its retaliation efforts on the killers of five soldiers in Abia State, rather than innocent citizens.
This comes after the military vowed to avenge the deaths of the soldiers deployed to the state for the Biafran Day celebration.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday, the LP National Publicity Secretary Obiora Ifoh urged the military to ensure that their actions do not result in collateral damage or harm to law-abiding citizens.
The party also commended the Abia State Governor, Alex Otti for offering a N25 million bounty for information leading to the capture of the perpetrators.
The military had confirmed the killing of five soldiers in Abia State during the sit-at-home called by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Thursday.
The Labour Party’s appeal highlights the need for a targeted and measured response to avoid further escalation and harm to innocent lives.
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Ifor said: “While we commiserate with the Chief of Army Staff, Maj. Gen. 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 to vengeance in order to avoid further loss of lives.
“Unknown gunmen 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 deserve to be wiped out but we urge that the military’s response to this latest act of provocation must be measured and targeted at these elements alone.
“Abia has remained the most peaceful state in the whole of South East obviously due to the untiring efforts of the state government to rid the state of all criminal elements in the last year, the party, therefore, thinks this latest attack was a deliberate act to conflagrate the state with actions capable of attracting reprisal from the military.
“We also urge the military not to allow this unfortunate incident to recede 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 the potential of engendering a humanitarian crisis if the retaliation turns out to be occupational, indiscriminate, and unrestricted. News emanating from Aba and its environment is scary as youths and young men are reported to have started deserting the area for 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.”

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