‘Their death not in vain’ — defence chief vows to avenge soldiers killed in Niger state


Christopher Musa, chief of defence staff (CDS), says the
military will hunt down bandits who killed 22 soldiers in Niger state.


Musa spoke on Friday at the burial ceremony of the soldiers
at the national military cemetery in Abuja.


On August 14, an aircraft conveying wounded soldiers from
the scene of the ambush by bandits in Wushishi LGA, crashed in Chukuba village,
Shiroro LGA in Niger state.


Several military personnel were reportedly killed by
terrorists who attacked Kundu village near Zungeru.


Days later, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) confirmed that
three officers and 22 soldiers were killed during the ambush and helicopter


Speaking at the ceremony, the defence chief said burying
personnel is one of the most difficult days for every commander, adding that he
felt pained to bury his officers.


He vowed that the military would smoke out the killers of
the soldiers and ensure that they never have the opportunity to kill any other



“I want to assure the families that their death is not in
vain. We appreciate them, we pray for them and we will ensure that those that
did this must pay for it,” he said.


“I use this opportunity to call all commanders, all troops
all over Nigeria, that we must avenge this.


“Those that did this and those that have continued to kill
our men wherever they are, we will get them out.


“Today we gather here with heavy hearts and tearful eyes to
bid farewell to our fallen heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in defence of
our nation.


“We stand here today to honour their courage, dedication and
unwavering commitment to duty.”


Musa said the event was to also celebrate the officers’
lives and extra extraordinary contributions.


He assured the deceased’s families that the military would stand
with them in their grief and would continue to support them during “this
difficult time”.


“These men and women laid down their lives so that we can
live in peace and security. They fought on the front lines against the forces
of evil and ensured that the flavour of hood and liberty continue to bend right
in our nation,” he said.


 “Their courage and
dedication will forever be an inspiration to all to follow their footsteps.


“To the families who have lost loved ones, notwithstanding
our deepest condolences, we cannot begin to fathom the pain and sorrow that you
are experiencing but know that deep in your heart, you are not alone in your


 “To our fallen
heroes, we will honour your memories by continuing to fight against those who
seek to undermine our peace and security.


“We will remain steadfast in our resolve to be the nation
worthy of sacrifice.


 “To the bandits,
terrorists, and perpetrators of violence, we will haunt you down, we will bring
you to justice and will restore peace and security to every corner of our


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