By Kayode Olarewaju
The Nigerian Army on Friday buried 14 soldiers killed in an ambush by Boko Haram terrorists on December 24, 2018.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 14 soldiers who were on escort duty were ambushed on their way back to Kaduna by the terrorists on Damaturu-Maiduguri road.
The General Commanding, GOC, 1 Division Nigerian Army, Mohammed Mohammed said it was a grim day in the division and the entire Army.
“Today we are gathered here not only to mourn but also celebrate lives of service and sacrifice.
“These enthusiastic and inspiring men, exemplified the values of our nation and the military which is loyalty, courage, selfless service, respect, honour and dignity,” Mr Mohammed, a major-general, said.
The GOC added that the fallen heroes gave their lives in the service of Nigeria for the good of the Nigerian people.
“We are so very proud of them. Your labour and sacrifice will never be in vain.
“What these men represent is the quest for national defence and preservation of the aspiration of the Nigerian people,” he stressed.
To the families of the slain soldiers, Mr Mohammed said: “Your husbands and children made the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of this great country. They did not die in vain as they had given the ultimate duty to Nigeria.
“We will remember them forever as the brave soldiers.
“I want to assure you that myself and all my staff will always be there for you whenever the need arises.”
The GOC charged the troops to regard the death of their colleagues as “antidote for inspiration and determination to go all out and rid your respective Areas of Operation of kidnappers, bandits and other criminal elements.
“I want to assure you of the unwavering support of the Chief of Army Staff and the leadership of our dear nation in ensuring that you are provided with necessary equipment as well as adequate welfare to carry out your duty effectively and efficiently.”
NAN reports that the Army gave N500,000 to the families of each of the 14 soldiers as assistance, pending the processing of their benefits.