The Nigerian Army on Friday said Lieutenant PP Johnson, a female soldier abducted by gunmen on Monday, has not been released by her captors.
Johnson, a newly commissioned female Lieutenant in the Nigerian Army (NA), was kidnapped while visiting her grandmother in Aku-Okigwe in Imo State.
In a viral video, one of the gunmen was heard vowing to deal with all serving personnel of the armed forces.
The Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, debunked reports that the female soldier had been rescued by security operatives.
“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,” Nwachukwu said.
The army spokesman said her abductors still dehumanised the officer despite coming from the South-Eastern part of the country.
He also chided them for claiming to be freedom fighters, describing members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as being terrorists.
“This evidently is another pointer to the myriads of crimes being unleashed by IPOB/ESN on Ndigbo, the very people (who) 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.
“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,” he added.
Nwachukwu noted that the “Nigerian Army will leave no stone unturned in its effort to rescue the officer and bring the perpetrators to book.”
The army spokesman urged the general public to provide credible and reliable information that could lead to her safe rescue and arrest of the perpetrators.