From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja

The House of Representatives has condemned the killing of five soldiers in Aba, Abia State, last week, with a call for security agencies to bring the perpetrators to book.

The House also mandated security agencies to conduct a thorough investigation into circumstances that led to the dastardly act.

However, the parliament, while mourning the slain soldiers, urged the security agencies to “exercise restraint in the application of military force on civilians.’

These followed the adoption of a motion by the Chairman, House Committee on Police Affairs, Makki Yalleman, “on the need to stop the incessant and gruesome killing of military personnel on peace missions across the country.”

Yalleman, in his lead debate, expressed dismay over the incessant attacks on military personnel across the country, noting that it is unacceptable. He expressed worry that the development could result in retaliatory attacks by the military.

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He said: “This act of attacking and killing military personnel is often carried out through surprise attacks on military formations, including check points and even those on routine patrols.

“The recent brutal attack on military personnel at a checkpoint at the Obikabia Junction in Aba, Abia State, where five soldiers were horrendously murdered by suspected gunmen. The perpetrators of the act destroyed and burnt down the military vehicles at the checkpoint, while some soldiers narrowly escaped with gunshot injuries.”

The lawmaker added that ‘this form of attack and killing of military personnel by gunmen in the South East and other parts of Nigeria has a potential of dampening the morale of our armed forces, endangering the lives and property of Nigerians and affecting the war on insecurity, which has so far recorded some successes.

The Chairman, House Committee on Defence, Babajimi Benson, in his contribution, said it is sad that security personnel are being killed by non -state actors.

Also, the Chairman, House Committee on Navy, Yusuf Gagdi, said it is regrettable that while lawmakers are speaking against insecurity, security personnel are being killed by non-state actors across the country.

Gagdi said: “We are here speaking against insecurity and institutions responsible for protection of lives and property of the citizens are being killed on a daily basis. On a daily basis, they must kill a police officer in the course of his duty to protect the lives and property of the citizens of this country. They kill civil defence (personnel) on a daily basis. They kill army (personnel) on a daily basis. They kill air force (personnel). They kill Navy (personnel). This is not acceptable, Mr Speaker.”

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