The nineteen soldiers out of 23 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 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.
According to This Day Live news, 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
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.
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.