The 11 Nigerian soldiers killed by armed persons in Kaduna State last week were buried on Thursday.
PREMIUM TIMES reported the murder of the soldiers who were deployed to the state as part of an army exercise, AYE AKPATUMA, to restore peace.
Several parts of Kaduna State have suffered from violence mainly between nomadic herdsmen and farming communities leading to the scores of deaths. The soldiers were deployed to maintain peace in the state. They were killed at their post by the armed persons in Brinin Gwari Local Government Area, allegedly as a reprisal for the killing of some of the gunmen in a previous effort by the army.
The army named the slain officers as Olabode Hammed, Bamidele Emmanuel, Owhochukwu Chigoziri, Adamu Muhammed, Lamara Ahmed, Mubarack Suleiman, Bashir Dani, Usman Abubakar, Nafiyi Iliyasu, Sefiyanu Ahmed and Alhassan Ibrahim.
All were privates in the Nigerian Army which they joined about a year ago, an official said.
On Thursday, they were buried at the Commonwealth Cemetery in Kaduna in the presence of top army chiefs, government officials and family members.
The burial was done in accordance with Army Inter-Faith Funeral Service with chaplains and an Imam from the Christian and Islamic and faith presiding.
The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, was represented by General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Div, Mohammed Mohammed.
Mr. Buratai, a lieutenant general, told the families of the slain soldiers to see what happened as an act of God.
“Morning of 20th March 2018. 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 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.
“Their blood was not shed in vain. Their memories remain with us.
“We assure Nigerians that we will continue to do our duties, regardless of this. We assure that every part of this country, every part under One Division would be secured,” he said.
He urged the families of the slain soldiers not to discourage other family members that may want to join the army.
“We condole you on the loss of your people. But we assure you, their death is not in vain,” he said.
The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, at the event announced a support of N500,000 each to the families of the 11 slain soldiers.
Represented by Secretary to State Government SSG, Lawal Balarabe, he presented the cheque of N5.5 million to Mr Mohammed, a major general, for onward disbursement to the victims’ families.