‘Mindless, dehumanising’ — Army reacts as gunmen abduct, strip female military officer

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The Nigerian Army has described the abduction and assault of P.P. Johnson, identified as a lieutenant in the army, as “dehumanising”.

 

Johnson was said to have been visiting her grandmother in Imo state when she was abducted on December 26.

 

A video of a woman stripped naked had, thereafter, gone viral on social media platforms, while a voice in the background asked her questions about her identity.

 

The woman identified herself as “P.P. Johnson” from Abia state.

 

 “This is a wonderful message for all of you still in the Nigerian military. That is how all of you will be dying one after the other. Here, it’s happening live in Enugu, today, being 26th of December, 2022,” the voice in the background added.

 

There were, however, claims on Friday that the officer had been rescued and one person arrested over the abduction.

 

Reacting to the development in a statement on Friday, the army condemned the kidnap, adding that the officer was yet to be rescued.

 

 “The attention of the Nigerian Army (NA) has been drawn to some publications circulating in the social media insinuating the rescue of Lieutenant PP Johnson, a female officer who was abducted on Monday 26 December 2022 while visiting her grandmother in Aku-Okigwe in Imo state, shortly after completion of her Cadet training and subsequent commissioning as a Lieutenant into the Nigerian Army,” the statement issued by Onyema Nwachukwu, army spokesperson, reads.

 

“A video footage of her abduction had emerged on the social media where her abductors claimed her abduction was in line with their fight for Biafra against the Nigerian State.

 

“It is instructive that the officer’s circumstance as a woman and a Nigerian citizen of South Eastern extraction did not dissuade her abductors from dehumanizing her in their mindless attempt to commit atrocities under the guise of fighting for Biafra.

 

“This evidently is another pointer to the myriads of crimes being unleashed by IPOB/ESN on Ndigbo, the very people they claim to be fighting for their emancipation.

 

 “It should therefore be crystal clear to those who are still in doubt of the true status of these groups, that IPOB/ESN are terrorists, masquerading as freedom fighters and do not deserve the support of anyone, particularly the good people of South East Nigeria.

 

“The NA wishes to state that the information making the rounds is unsubstantiated as the officer is yet to be released or rescued from her abductors. Likewise, the video footage being circulated and associated with the rescue claim is an old video of the arrest of a suspect earlier effected by troops.

 

“Much as we appreciate the concern and goodwill of the general public for her safe rescue, we also wish to note that the information on the rescue of the officer did not emanate from the NA.

 

“The Nigerian Army will leave no stone unturned in its effort to rescue the officer and bring the perpetrators to book. We appeal to the general public to provide credible and reliable information that could lead to her safe rescue and arrest of the perpetrators.”

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