The Senate has suspended legislative activities for the day to honour fallen soldiers.
The adjournment was sequel to a point of order raised by the deputy senate leader, Bala Na’Allah.
Prior to the call, Mr Na’Allah said his cousin, a lieutenant colonel Sakaba, was one of the soldiers who died in n the recent attack by Boko Haram in Maiduguri.
He said the lieutenant was the commander of the team that was attacked.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported how rampaging Boko Haram insurgents overran a Nigerian Army battalion in Borno State on Sunday, killing the unit’s commander and dozens of soldiers.
A large cache of arms, ammunition and military equipment were carted away by Boko Haram fighters during the attack on 157 Task Force Battalion in Metele, Abadam Local Government Area, at about 6:00 p.m., a setback for government forces trying to push terrorists further out of Nigeria’s north-eastern flank.
On Monday, a soldier who survived the attack told PREMIUM TIMES how the insurgents killed “over 70 soldiers.”
The Nigerian Army and the Defence Headquarters are yet to officially react to the attack.
On Thursday, Mr Na’Allah while asking that plenary be suspended, stated that the demand was not personal but to honour the commitment and contribution of Nigerian soldiers.
“About five days ago, a camp in Maiduguri was attacked by Boko-Haram and we were reported to have lost about 44 soldiers.
“I want it bring it to the notice of the Senate that Lieutenant Colonel Sakaba is my cousin and he was head of that team that was attacked and he lost his life.
“Unfortunately, he was one of the most dedicated soldiers I have ever met. Not because he is my relation but because I knew from his commitment on what he has gone through and his contribution to the Nigerian army,” he said.
In her remark, Senate minority leader, Biodun Olujimi, questioned the federal government over the recurring death of soldiers.
“There is something government is not telling us over the death of these soldiers. We must know what we are facing and the conditions for the people fighting for us. We should make sure this insurgency does not spread. Government must sit up. We cannot keep posing young men and women. I pray their families will be able to find succour.”
The deputy senate president, Ike Ekweremadu expressed disappointment at the neglect of Nigerian soldiers.
He urged everyone to be concerned and the federal government to find other measures to protect them.
“Somebody who commits himself and his life to die for others for others to live, not considering what will happen to his children or his wife – and most times when they die, no one cares about their loved ones. That is why the matter is very serious. I am not sure we are taking good care of our soldiers. They are just mere statistics.
“It may be happening Borno – and they are there – that is why we are here because if they don’t stop them, they will invade us here. That is why people are still in Lagos or Enugu. Everybody should be of concern.
“We need to find out measures to protect them. Is any person paying them their allowance? Do they allow them go on holidays? God forbid I should keep quiet. It is a pity this is happening in our time,” he said.
Before the Senate adjourned, it mandated its committee on the army to pay a condolence visit to families of the deceased and the Chief of Army Staff to investigate the situation and ascertain what military measures are in place to protect the soldiers.
The lawmakers also resolved to visit the soldiers at the war front. They further resolved that everyone should adopt one family of the soldiers killed.
They also agreed to have a financial contribution to the families of the deceased.
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