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Military immortalises 200 slain officers in Borno


Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai

•Defence Headquarters tasked on surveillance, others
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has immortalised 200 slain officers at Gudumbali Cenotaph after troops recaptured from Boko Haram terrorists the headquarters of Guzamala council area in Borno State.

The fallen soldiers were ambushed and killed in August 2015.

Inaugurating the cenotaph at the weekend, Buratai said the late officers paid the “supreme price in an ambush to protect the territorial integrity of the nation and the people’s lives and property.”

Gudumbali, a farming settlement, borders Niger Republic, and is 247 kilometres north of Maiduguri, the state capital.

According to him, the incident happened after four attempts to recapture the community.

He disclosed that troops of the 157 Battalion successfully recaptured the town.

His words: “Our troops’ logistics base in Gudumbali, including surface fuel tanks, were attacked, killing several (many) soldiers.

“This attack was not a defeat, as the soldiers died not as a result of Boko Haram attacks. They lost their lives in order to keep Nigeria one.

“As we commission the cenotaph in memory of our fallen heroes, who paid the supreme price to bring peace to this part of the country, everybody should pray for them and continue to remember them.”

Buratai, who named the tomb as Forever in Our Hearts, noted: “We will continue to remember the family members left behind. We believe this place will be a national monument very soon.

The military chief also kicked off the community’s sanitation exercise and farming season, just as he donated two tractors to the farmers.

However, a group, Association of Concerned Plateau Indigenous Youths Group (AOCOIYOG) has enjoined the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) to retool the military task force, Operation Safe Haven domiciled in the state, especially in the area of manpower, surveillance and logistics.

It commended the DHQ for its “proactive measures in dealing with the renewed crisis in Plateau State arising from the recent killings in parts of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of the state.”

In a statement yesterday in Abuja, the convener, Prince Rotdunna Ibn Sekat, and Secretary, Dr. Pam Davou, in Abuja, said the appeal followed the difficult terrain the troops have had to contend with.

The group also warned political actors in the state against politicising the crisis, tasking them to work together for its quick resolution.

The statement reads in part: “We are particularly worried about the attitude of political players in the state who are making desperate attempts to politicise our current misfortune.

“This unfortunate development has been demonstrated in the recent protests staged at the Government House obviously meant to embarrass the government of Plateau State, thus threatening our national security and mutual co-existence.”

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