- Buratai weeps as soldiers are laid to rest
Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari monday said the gallantry and high sense of professionalism displayed by the fallen soldiers contributed to the restoration of peace in the North-eastern part of the country.
The president, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr. Abba Kiyari, made this known in Abuja at the burial ceremony of Lt. Col. Abu Ali and six other soldiers killed on November 4, 2016, in the on-going fight against Boko Haram insurgents.
The president however said the sacrifice of the soldiers would spurred the military to clear out the remnants of Boko Haram insurgents.
According to him, “Nigerians will continue to remember your outstanding efforts as securing the territorial integrity of the country. Undeniably, the gallantry and high sense of professionalism displayed by these gentlemen have contributed to the restoration of peace in the North-east.”
He added: “It is therefore our resolved that the labour of these fallen heroes shall never be in vain. We will remain spurred, the zeal and gallant effort to ensure that terrorism and insurgency is defeated so that our country can enjoy the much desired peace.
“The efforts of the leadership of our armed forces, as well as our securitt agencies and the support of all Nigerians towards the successful end of insurgency and other security threats in the country is commendable.”
In his remarks, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.Gen. Yusuf Buratai, said the gallant soldiers were inducted into operation Lafiya Dole in 2014 to form the pivot of the counter insurgency efforts of the armed forces of Nigeria in the North -east.
The army chief who wept uncontrollably, said through fearless and dogged determination of the fallen soldiers to defend the territorial integrity of the country turned the tide of battle to liberate Nigeria from the scourge of terrorism.
He noted that the soldiers who were members of 119 task force battalion and the armed forces special forces went after their adversaries to smoke the terrorists out of their enclaves, burn their factories and staging areas, adding that “they were brave, concise, professional and inspiring.”
Buratai stated: “They led the battle to the capture of the following towns and villages, Monguno, Baga, Bama, Gwoza, Banki junction, Gamboru-Ngala, Kangaruwa, Abadam, Mallam Fatori, among others.
“In these battles, they rescued women and children, fathers and mothers, the young and the old, and restore peace and hope to Nigeria citizens. At last, on November 4, 2016, they paid the supreme price in the battle of Mallam Fatori
“These men epitomised the very best of our militar; they exemplified the value of our nation and our military with loyalty, courage, selfless service, respect, honour and discipline.
“They left behind wives, parents, children and other dependants and they fought for the unity of our nation. Their families and comrades will miss you, the entire nation will miss you, but be rest assured that your labour will never be in vain. Sarkin Yakin the front line general, you and your men have fought a good fight.
The fallen soldiers who were laid to rest were: Col. Ali who led the war for the capture of Baga: Cpl. Chukwu Simon, Sgt. Bassey Okon, Sgt. Muazu Ibrahim, Sgt. Hussain Jafaru, Pte Saliu Lawal, and SM. Patrick Paul.