IT was a rain of tears as the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, could not fight back tears while reading his funeral oration for the fallen heroes at the Army Cemetery in Abuja.
The fallen heroes include Lt Col Mohammed Abu Ali, Sgt Muazu Ibrahim, Sgt Hussain Jafaru, Sgt Bassy Okon, Cpl Chukwu Simon PTE Salihu Lawal, SM Patrick Paul.
During his funeral oration, Buratai extol the gallantry of the fallen heroes, adding that they were dedicated to their duties before they paid the supreme price.
According to him “these gallant soldiers were inducted into the operation Lafya Dole in 2014 to form the pivot of the counter insurgency efforts of the armed forces of Nigeria in the north east. They were brave, precise, professional and inspiring.
“In these battles, they rescued women and children, fathers and mothers, they restored peace and hope to Nigerians, at last on November 4, 2016, they paid the supreme sacrifice.
“These men epitomised the very best of our military, they exemplified the values of our nation and of our military which are loyalty, discipline, courage, selfless service, respect, honour and dignity.
“They left behind wives, children as well as parents and dependants. They fought for the unity of our nation.”
The Army Chief however assured that the Nigerian Army will take as utmost priority the welfare of those the fallen heroes left behind.
“Our brave and gallant compatriots, your family and comrades will miss you; the entire nation will miss you, but be rest assured that your labours will never be in vain.
“Your loved ones will remain in our care and their welfare will be of utmost priority at all times,” he assured.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari, through the his Chief of Staff Abba Kyari said the fallen heroes will be remembered for their relentless effort in fighting insurgency.
He said the government will continue in its quest to free Nigeria of every form of insurgency, as it will continue its onslaught on Boko Haram in the north east.
His words: “the officers and soldiers alongside with their colleagues have shown unalloyed commitment for the good of Nigerians. They were fearless, responsive, inspiring, selfless and dedicated to the discharge of their duties.
“The selflessness of these gentlemen reinvigorates the memories of other great fallen heroes who stood firm in the defence of our dear nation and had to pay the supreme price in the ongoing fight against insurgency.
“Their sacrifice, patriotism and gallantry will surely not go in vain. The gallantry high sense of professionalism displayed by these gentlemen has contributed to the restoration of peace and normalcy in the north east.
“It is therefore our resolve that the labours of these fallen heroes shall never be in vain, we will ensure that terrorism and insurgency is defeated so that our country can enjoy the much desired peace and progress.
President Buhari expressed appreciation the armed forces for their relentless efforts in fighting Boko Haram.
“Certainly, this is a monumental loss to the families and the Nigerian Army and the entire nation, but we take solace to the fact that they did not die in vain, they lost their lives in order that Nigeria and Nigerians will continue to enjoy peace and freedom”, he added.
Awards were presented to the families of the deceased by the Nigerian Army, special prayers were also held for the fallen heroes.
In attendance includes, Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, the Minister of information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, serving senators, Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari and many more.