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Ortom apologises over killing of soldiers in Benue

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Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has apologised to President Muhammadu Buhari over the Easter Monday killing of 12 military personnel in Bonta Village, Konshisha Local Council of the state by criminal elements.

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Ortom also apologised to the leadership of security forces in the country as well as families of the fallen heroes, even as he vowed to collaborate with security agencies to ensure that perpetrators of the act were brought to book.

During the burial of the 12 slain soldiers at the Military Cemetery, Wurukum, Makurdi, yesterday, the governor regretted the death of the military personnel in the hands of militiamen while trying to ensure peace in the troubled areas of the state.

His words: “We condemn the killing of the soldiers who were out to maintain peace. Attack on security men is attack on all. The attack was uncalled for. They were out to keep the peace and got killed in the process; otherwise, we all know what soldiers would ordinarily do in such a situation.”

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The governor also passionately appealed to the bereaved families to forgive him for uncomplimentary comments he might have made over the situation based on the information available to him at that time.

His words: “If I said anything that was offensive to the families, I ask for their forgiveness. I earlier said only two soldiers were involved based on the information available to me at that time.”

The remains of 12 soldiers, including Capt. Adeolu Adedayo, were interred in the presence of Commander of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), the Commanding Officer of 72 Battalion, military personnel as well as family members of the slain soldiers.

Conducting the funeral service, Chaplain of 73 Battalion, Maj. Ibrahim Mavisky, noted a time everything: a time to be born and time to die.

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“We brought nothing to this world and we shall surely leave with nothing,” he stated.

Corroborating the Imam, the chaplain described the fallen heroes as peacemakers who went out not for evil but for peace and regrettably died in the process.

“These people died innocently and without any offence. It is the promise of God that each of us has a stipulated time to go. We will all go back to God someday and explain how we live our lives. God will console the Nigerian Army and the immediate families they left behind.

“The slain soldiers were out to serve the nation, but we’re cut short. We, therefore, pray for their souls and that God should grant them eternal rest,” they said.

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