Metele Attack: 19 Soldiers Buried in Maiduguri

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Michael Olugbode, Maiduguri

Nineteen soldiers who died in the Boko Haram attack on a military base in Metele, Borno State were buried on Friday by the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri.

According to the the Nigerian Army, the 19 soldiers were part of the 23 soldiers lost in the attack on November 18. The army said the remaining four soldiers were not buried on Friday because their next of kin were unavailable at the time of the funeral at the Maimalari Barrack military cemetery.

Though media had reported that over 100 soldiers were lost in the attack, the military has continued to insist that 23 soldiers were killed and 31 others injured during the attack on 157 Task Force Battalion, Metele on November 18.

Those said to have fallen by the insurgents include Lt. Col. Ibrahim Sakaba and 22 soldiers.

In a graveside speech by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, who was represented by Maj. Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, the Chief, Army Training and Operations, said the fallen soldiers were heroes.

He disclosed that the remaining four soldiers left unburied would be buried immediately their relatives arrive in Maiduguri.

He lamented that the Army in the last few days lost some troops and equipment due to upsurge of insurgents’ activities.

He however said that the setback
recorded would not deter the troops from their commitments to defeat the Boko Haram insurgents.

He reiterated the commitments of the Nigerian Army to end insurgency; protect lives and property as well as restore peace to the
northeast.

He said the military authorities would take care of the families of the fallen heroes in line with its welfare scheme, and prayed
for repose of the souls of the deceased and the fortitude for the families to bear the
loss.

The Army Chief said: “President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is committed to the
improvement of soldiers’ welfare and provision of equipment to ensure successful campaign against the Boko Haram insurgents.”

He promised that: “The military will collaborate with sister security organisations in the counter insurgency operation,” and called on the troops not to relent in exterminating the remnants of the insurgents.

He said the military authorities would deploy additional personnel and equipment to the theatre of operation, to facilitate
successful implementation of the counter insurgency campaign.

The COAS further called on the people to shun fake news and support the military in the ongoing war against insurgency, noting that this would enable the military to win the war against Boko Haram terrorists.

Speaking at the occasion, the Deputy Governor of Borno state, Alhaji Mamman Durkwa, who represented Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, said the
state government appreciates the sacrifices of the military in the restoration of peace in the state.

He announced that the state government would support the families of the fallen heroes to improve their wellbeing.

He called on the military authorities to support the bereaved families and prayed for the repose of the souls of the fallen heroes.

Bodies of the deceased soldiers were laid to rest at the Military Cemetery, Maimalari Cantonment, Maiduguri, after prayers were conducted by Muslim and Christian Chaplains.