Slain soldiers left 21 orphans, 10 widows –COAS

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The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, on Wednesday, regretted that 21 children had been orphaned and 10 women widowed by the recent killing of 17 military personnel in Delta State.

He said out of the 10 widows, three of them are four, five, and eight months pregnant.

He noted that it was sad that those responsible for their deaths were those they swore to protect.

Lagbaja spoke at the burial ceremony for the slain personnel at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja.

He said, “The Okuama killing has added to the care of the Nigerian Army and, by extension, the Nigeria state – 10 widows (three of whom are four, five, and eight months pregnant), 21 orphans, and many other dependents which include parents.

“While commiserating with the families of these gallant soldiers, I assure them that the Nigerian Army and the good people of this country will not leave them in the cold.

“We shall do all within our power to provide succour to them and preserve the memories of their departed loved ones.”

He noted that the Army will not be deterred by the incident, vowing that the culprits would be brought to book.

He added, “I assure Mr. President and all Nigerians that the Nigerian Army remains committed to its constitutional responsibilities and will not be deterred by setbacks such as witnessed in the Okuama community.

“As tasked by Mr President and Commander-In-Chief of our Armed Forces, the Nigerian Army, with the assistance of its sister services and other security agencies, is committed to bringing the perpetrators of the Okuama murder to book and recover all service and personal belongings taken from the murdered troops.

“The Nigerian Army will continue to seek the cooperation of all well-meaning Nigerians, particularly in the affected area, toward swift and successful conduct of our search and recovery operations.”

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