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Nigerian Army prepares to bury soldiers amid rising tensions in Delta State

President Tinubu to Attend Ceremony as Army Seeks Justice for Fallen Soldiers

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The Nigerian Army has announced plans to bury soldiers killed in the Okuama community of Delta State, with the ceremony scheduled for today (Wednesday) at the National Cemetery in Abuja. The announcement, made via the Nigerian Army’s X handle on Tuesday, indicated that the burial would take place at 3 pm, with President Bola Tinubu slated to attend as the Special Guest of Honour.

The soldiers were among at least 17 military personnel who lost their lives during a communal clash stemming from a land dispute between the Bomadi and Okuoma communities in Delta State. According to reports, the personnel, attached to the 181 Amphibious Battalion, were responding to a distress call when they were ambushed and killed.

Following the incident, there were speculations of a military reprisal, which the Defence headquarters promptly denied, emphasizing their commitment to apprehending the culprits. The Defence Headquarters released the names of the fallen soldiers and vowed to bring those responsible to justice.

President Tinubu and the Senate urged swift action, prompting the military to conduct operations in the affected communities, resulting in numerous arrests, including three prime suspects. Retired army generals and civil society organizations also called for the apprehension and prosecution of the perpetrators.

In Abuja on Tuesday, former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor (retd.), demanded further analysis and discussions on the soldiers’ killings during a conference. Irabor condemned the gruesome manner of the deaths and emphasized the need for justice. He also urged a review of the military’s involvement in non-kinetic operations and stressed the importance of maintaining the military’s integrity.

Meanwhile, Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa, highlighted the evolving security challenges in the country, emphasizing the need for comprehensive approaches. Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, underscored the importance of building strong relationships with border communities to enhance border security.

The planned burial serves as a somber reminder of the risks faced by military personnel in the line of duty and the ongoing efforts to address security challenges across Nigeria.

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