There was wailing and tears Monday morning as the 12 soldiers who were ambushed and killed at Bonta, Konshisha local government area of Benue state were laid to rest.
The soldiers who are from 72 Special Forces Battalion in Makurdi, according to the military authorities, were on their way to replenish their colleagues who were on the side of Oju for a peace keeping mission in the crisis between Bonta in Konshisha and Ukpute in Oju, on 5 April, 2021, when they were attacked and killed by armed bandits at Bonta.
At the burial which took place Monday , family members and sympathisers in their hundreds trouped to the cemetery at Wurukum area of Makurdi, the Benue state capital, to witness how they were laid to rest.
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state was also at the cemetery to witness the burial. He condoled with President Muhammadu Buhari and the Chief of Army Staff over the killing of the 12 military personnel.
Ortom also condoled with the leadership of security forces in the country as well as families of the fallen heroes and promised that his government would collaborate with security agencies to ensure that all those responsible for the dastardly act are fished out and brought to book.
Governor Ortom regretted the death of the army personnel in the hands of the militia while trying to ensure peace in troubled areas of the state.
“We condemn the killing of the soldiers who were out to maintain peace. Attack on security men is attack on all. The attack was uncalled for and unwarranted. They were out to keep peace and they got killed in the process. We all know what soldiers would ordinarily do in such a situation.”
Conducting the funeral service, Chaplain of 73 Battalion, Major Ibrahim Mavisky, as well as the Imam, Captain AA Bashir, both noted that the fallen heroes were peace makers who went out not for evil but for peace and regrettably met their death in the process.