Buhari mourns soldiers killed in Niger

FORMER President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday, August 19, expressed condolences over the death of officers and soldiers who died in an ambush and military helicopter crash at Chukuba village, Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger state.

In a condolence statement issued by the ex-president’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, Buhari said that the soldiers would soon overpower the bandits causing havoc in the country.

According to a statement by the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) on Thursday, August 17,  36 officers were killed in the terrorist attack that happened in the region.

The ICIR reports that bandits in a recent attack caused havoc at Chukuba and other neighbouring villages of Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger state, with the recent incident starting on Friday, August 11 and lasting till Monday, 14.

The terrorists were said to have ambushed and killed an unconfirmed number of soldiers along the Zungeru-Tegina road in the Madaka Ward of the Rafi Local Government Area of the state.

Similarly, some terrorists affiliated to Abubakar Abdallah, popularly known as Dogo Gide, subsequently claimed responsibility for the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) helicopter that crasheď on Monday, August 14, in the region. The armed terrorists made the claim in a video obtained by WikkiTimes.

Reacting to this, Buhari said: “I am saddened by the helicopter accident following the tragic ambush in which we have lost our brave army personnel. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. I hope those injured recover at the earliest.

“My heartfelt condolences to the President, @officialABAT, the Armed Forces of the Federation and the families of the deceased.

“With the soldier discipline in our troops, it is a matter of time before they overcome,” the former President said.

In the same vein, Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had also reacted to the death of the soldiers killed while combating attacks in Niger state.

In a statement on Tuesday, August 15, Tinubu said the incident caused him “immense sadness.”

“These officers and men were answering the call of duty while on an evacuation mission. In their dedicated service to our beloved country, they paid the ultimate price.

“While we mourn their untimely departure, we will forever remember them, not just as servicemen, but as national heroes who gave their all for the peace and security of our country. They will always be remembered as courageous men who did not consider the perils and dangers of their national duty as paramount to their sacred mandate of ensuring that their fellow countrymen and women can live in peace,” the statement read.

Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: umustapha@icirnigeria.com. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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