Fresh controversy over murdered army couple as wedding invite surfaces
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Fresh controversy over murdered army couple as wedding invite surfaces


Few weeks after the reported gruesome murder of army couple in Imo state, a wedding invitation of the couple has surfaced in the social media causing an unprecedented controversy over the actual place their killing took place.

The two soldiers (couple), Master Warrant Officer  (MWO) Audu M Linus (retired) and Private(Pte)Gloria Matthew,were reportedly on transit to Imo state for their traditional wedding, were killed in cold blood by gunmen on April 30, with a viral video of the dastardly act circulating widely.

But while their killers were yet to unmasked, a statement by the Nigerian Army accused the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) of the murder.

The army said in the statement issued by its director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, “The Nigerian Army (NA), on Saturday 30 April 2022 received information on the gruesome, barbaric and most despicable manner in which members of the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) and its armed affiliate, Eastern Security Network(ESN) murdered in cold blood, two soldiers Master Warrant Officer  (MWO) Audu M Linus (retired) and Private(Pte)Gloria Matthew, who were on transit to Imo state for their traditional wedding. Apparently, the soldiers had embarked on the trip to fulfill the traditional rites of  conjugating their matrimony, as the very well respected and cherished Igbo tradition demands”.

It continues:  “Ironically, the fact that one of the soldiers,  Pte Gloria Matthew who hails from Nkwerre LGA of Imo state, has an ethnic affiliation with the good people of South East Nigeria did not prevail on the sensibility of the dissidents.  

“This dastardly act, one too many, clearly portends the deep seated hate, desperation and lawlessness with which foot soldiers of IPOB/ESN have being unleashing terror on Ndigbo, whom they claim they are on a mission to protect and emancipate, as well as other innocent Nigerians who are resident or transiting the South East.

“This gruesome murder, in which they did not spare even their own child, clearly depicts callousness, impenitence and is indisputably, a brazen act of terrorism perpetrated by IPOB/ESN”. 

But in a swift response, the spokesman of IPOB, Emma Powerful denied involvement in the murder of the soldiers.

Powerful, the Media and Publicity Secretary of the proscribed IPOB described the statement credited to the army as lies, saying it was responsible for the murder, as laughable and fallacious.

According to the statement: “IPOB has no hand in the said atrocity which is an abominable act in Igbo tradition. No true Igbo will hurt an in-law, how much more a married daughter (Ada) in Igbo land. Even the ancestors will avenge such wickedness.

“Before the Army jumped into their jaundiced conclusion that the abominable act was masterminded by IPOB, what investigations did it carry out to substantiate its claims? When have armed gunmen or criminals, recruited by evil politicians in connivance with the same security agencies in their desperation to demonise IPOB, become IPOB members?

“The compromised security agencies, particularly the military, are behind the ongoing secret genocide in Biafra land under the guise of hunting for IPOB members while the real mass murderers are on the prowl in the North. They have always looked for occasion to attack innocent Igbo youths. Who knows the number of innocent Biafrans they will rope in the aftermath of this act and tag them the suspects?

“The Army should leave IPOB alone because we are not unknown gunmen and those pursuing them. The monster they created is now after them, yet they keep pointing fingers at us. The latest allegation is part of their propaganda to stain our global reputation, but the world knows they are lying.

“We understand their game plan; all they are after is to blackmail IPOB before our international friends who understand our predicaments in the region. Nigeria should try us and allow us our independence then let’s know which country will harbour terrorists.

“IPOB is, and will remain a non-violent movement. No amount of blackmail by the Nigerian government and its compromised security agencies can make us change our resolve to restore Biafra through non-violence.”

However, their wedding invitation has surfaced on the social media showing that the wedding was to hold in Makurdi, capital of Benue state. Similarly, their wedding reception was to hold in Benue state. This development is fuelling fresh controversy over their killing.

Consequently, concerned leaders from the south east have challenged the police to unmask the killers, saying that security agencies should not play politics with the killing.

New Express gathered that the viral invite is generating intense talks on statements by security agencies claiming that the proscribed IPOB is behind the killing.

A concerned Elder stateman reacted thus: “The Igbo haters will eventually be unmasked”. The elder queried: “So from the information in the invitation card, the marriage was to be conducted in Benue state, not Imo state. How then is Imo state the scene of their murder?”


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