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Abia: Gov Otti visits Army base, pleads for innocent suspects

Governor Alex Otti of Abia State on Thursday paid another morale-boosting visit to officers and men of 144 Battalion, Nigerian Army, at Abayi, Aba.

This followed his last week’s trip to the battalion, where he visited the wives of Army officers killed by unknown gunmen at Obikabia Junction.

The governor, who was received on arrival by the Commanding Officer, Major K.P. Duniya, on behalf of the Commander, 14 Brigade Ohafia, Brigadier General O.O. Diya, who later joined in receiving the governor, told the troop that he had come to commiserate with them.

He promised more support from the Abia State government for the Nigerian Army in their national duty of protecting citizens.

“My name is Alex Otti, and I am the Governor of Abia State. I feel it is my responsibility as the Chief Security Officer of the state to speak to you, commiserate with you, and also ensure that your morale is boosted, that you don’t get discouraged and that you don’t get distracted by this unfortunate incident,” he stated.

He reminded the officers that his administration had placed a 25 million naira bounty on the killers of five soldiers at Obikabia Junction in Aba. He added that they have started getting credible information about the killing of the soldiers.

Otti reiterated that the children of the army officers who were killed by hoodlums have been given scholarships up to the university level, while the widows would receive support from the Abia State government.

He urged the Army to be thorough in their investigation so that innocent persons are not punished.

“I’m also aware that some people have been picked up before now, but when I spoke with the GOC this morning, he told me that virtually everyone that was picked up has been released except for about nine or 10 people who are still being investigated.

“We, as a state, support a thorough investigation, but we will also appeal to you that a lot of innocent civilians who you will encounter may not have been involved. I believe that most of them are not involved. It is even possible that those who committed this crime came from outside the state. So whatever the case, we will not like to punish those who are innocent with those who are guilty because, as it is said, two wrongs cannot make a right.

“So, I would like to encourage you, I would like to appeal to your leaders to ensure that people are treated decently, and given the utmost respect that they deserve while we are doing our job of fishing out the criminals,” said Governor Otti.

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