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29 Mar 2018

Army buries 11 soldiers killed by bandits, as el-Rufai donates N500,000 each to grieving families

The Nigerian Army on Thursday laid to rest the 11 soldiers killed by bandits at Kampanin Doka Village in Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, also donated half a million naira to each of the bereaved family.

The soldiers were said to be a special force executing the Nigerian Army’s Exercise Aya Akpatuma (Rat race).

With full military honour, the remains of soldiers, who were killed on March 20, were buried at the Commonwealth Cemetery in Kaduna.

The slain soldiers are Private Olabode Hammed, Private Bamidele Adekunke Emmanuel, Private Owhochukwu Christian Chigoziri, Private Adamu Muhammed, Private Lamara Ahmed, Private Mubarack Suleiman.

Others included, Private Bashir Dani, Private Usman Abubakar Halo, Private Nafiyi Iliyasu, Private Sefiyanu Ahmed and Private Alhassan Ibrahim.

Speaking, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai, said the death of the soldiers would not deter the Army from protecting the territorial integrity of Nigeria.

He said the bandits that carried out the dastardly act won’t be spared as the Nigerian Army would do all within its powers to arrest and bring them to book.

Buratai told the families of the deceased to accept the death of the gallant officers as an act of God, saying, “From God we came, and to God we will return.”

The General Officer Commanding 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj-Gen. Mohammed Mohammed, stood in for the Chief of Army Staff.

The Chief of Army Staff said, “On the morning of 20th March 2018, some able bodied men who came into this job barely a year ago to serve the country told their relations I have joined the Army. Now they have paid the supreme sacrifice defending their country.

“Could they have paid with their lives to aid those who killed them? All of us will join them, it’s only a matter of time. To have been trained for six months and additional training, to be cut short is really painful.

“We assure those who killed them that we will not relent our efforts. Their blood was not shed in vain. Their memories remain with us.

“We assure Nigerians that we would continue to do our duties, regardless of this. We assure that every part of this country, every part under 1 Division would be secured,” he said.

He assured their families of the Army’s continuous support.

“If any other member of the family wants to join the Army, do not discourage them. We condole with you on the loss of your people, but we assure you that their death is not in vain.”

They were honoured with 21 gun salutes.

Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai during the burial, announced N500,000 each as support to the slain soldiers’ families.

El-Rufai made the announcement through the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Lawal Balarabe, who represented him at the event.

The cheque of N5.5m was presented to the General Officer Commanding 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Maj-Gen. Mohammed Mohammed.

According to the governor, the soldiers fought gallantly to protect our lives and property but paid the supreme price.

He noted that the state government would not relent in supporting security agencies in ensuring that their killers were brought to book.

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