CDS vows to avenge deaths of slain soldiers in Niger

THE Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Christopher Musa, has vowed that the military would avenge the death of all the soldiers in the recent terrorist attacks in Niger state.

Musa said this on Friday, August 25,  in Abuja, at the burial of 20 military personnel, who died during the combat with bandits and aircraft crash in the state.

He described the deceased as the frontlines of peace and guidance of freedom, stressing that their selflessness and unwavering dedication to the security of the country would leave an indelible mark in their hearts and memories.

The incident which happened in Zungeru and Chukuba, both in Niger State, resulted in numerous casualties, as the Nigerian Army confimed that three officers and 22 soldiers were killed in an ambush in the Zungeru general area while seven personnel were injured.

Also, the Nigerian Airforce (NAF) helicopter which was on a mission to evacuate the deceased and wounded troops was allegedly taken down by bandits at Chukuba area of Shiroro Local Government Area of the state on August 13, 2023.

The crashed helicopter, was carrying 14 of the 22 bodies of the previously killed soldiers and seven wounded ones, two pilots and two crew members, resulting in a total loss of 36 lives.

“Our troops entered into an ambush in the general of Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger state. The ambush led to a firefight which resulted in the death of three officers and 22 soldiers, while seven were wounded in action. As a result of this, there was a need for us to embark on a casualty operation whereby the Air Force helicopter was dispatched.

“While that process was on and inbound to Kaduna, the helicopter crashed. In the crash were 14 of the previously killed in action personnel in that ambush, seven of the previously wounded in action personnel, two pilots of the helicopter and two crew members. ”

The ICIR earlier reported that terrorists affiliated to Abubakar Abdallah, popularly known as Dogo Gide, claimed responsibility for the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) helicopter that ‘crasheď in a video obtained by WikkiTimes on August 16. 

Addressing the gathering on Friday, the CDS said, “We stand here today to honour their courage, dedication and commitment to duty. Their lives were abruptly taken from us in the line of duty. We gather to celebrate their lives and extraordinary contributions to our beloved nation. We are gathered here today not as grieving family members, friends and colleagues but as a nation united in sorrow.”

The CDS vowed  that the sacrifices of the deceased personnel to their nation would not be in vain, emphasizing that the troops would continue the battle against insecurity as a tribute to their memory.

“In the midst of this tragedy, we must remember that their sacrifice was not in vain. These brave men and women laid down their lives so that we could live in peace and security. They fought on the front line, ensuring that the flame of hope and liberty continued to burn bright in our nation. Their courage and dedication will forever be an inspiration to all who follow in their footsteps, “Musa said.

Musa also assured the family of the deceased of support in any possible ways, noting that they are not alone in their grief.

“To the families who have lost loved ones, we offer our deepest condolences. We cannot begin to fathom the pain and sorrow that we are experiencing. Deep in your heart, know that you are not alone in your grief. The entire nation and the Armed Forces know you and are ready to support you in any possible ways.”

He, however, ordered all commanders and troops of the Nigerian Army to hunt down and bring to justice, all terrorists, bandits and enemies of the state.

He added: “To the bandits, terrorists and perpetrators of violence who seek to sow the seed of fear among the people, know that our resolve will not waiver,” Musa said. “We will hunt you and bring you to justice. I will restore peace and security to every corner of our nation.

“Your actions may cause pain and suffering, but they will never extinguish the spirit of unity and resilience that binds us. I promise you, we will not relent until we get all those causing havoc in this country.”

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

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