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Senate bemoans killing of 44 soldiers by Boko Haram

The Senate Thursday bemoaned the killing of 44 Nigerian soldiers attached to the 157 Task Force Battalion located in Melete, Borno State...


The Senate Thursday bemoaned the killing of 44 Nigerian soldiers attached to the 157 Task Force Battalion located in Melete, Borno State by the Boko Haram insurgents.

A sombre atmosphere enveloped the plenary session when the matter was brought to the floor as the lawmakers took turns to bemoan the development, which they described as monumental loss to the nation.

Consequently, the upper legislative body has ordered its committees on Army and Defence to investigate the killings and also look into the welfare and wellbeing of Nigerian troops engaged in the counter insurgency operations.

The senator also resolved to visit officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces presently on the counter insurgency campaign in North East.


The resolutions followed a motion by the Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na'Allah (APC Kebbi South) at the instance of the President of the Senate.

In his motion, Na'Allah, decried the plight of military personnel currently fighting insurgency in the North East, lamenting that one of the officers killed in the attack was his cousin.

After observing a minute's silence in honour of the fallen soldiers, the lawmakers also resolved to pay a condolence visit to the Chief of Army Staff and families of the slain soldiers.

The senators have also resolved to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the killings and welfare of serving soldiers. The standing committee on Army has been mandated to carry out the investigation.

Other contributors, including the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, bemoaned the hazardous tasks of men and officers of the Armed Forces in fighting Boko Haram insurgency.

They called on the Federal Government and the military authorities to adequately equip the personnel and address all issues concerning their welfare.

Making his contribution, Senator Andrew Uchendu (APC Rivers East) suggested that the Senate shut down for the day, instead of just observing a minute's silence for the slain soldiers.

Uchendu said, "Mr President and dear colleagues, I have no reason to doubt the figure of the 44 dead soldiers. But if that figure is correct, then this Senate must come out and show massive concern, not just one-minute silence.

"We must shut down for one whole day in honour of those fallen heroes".

Uchendu carried the day and the plenary session was brought to an abrupt end.

Reports indicate that about nine farmers in the community were also killed in the attack.

Addressing journalists shortly after the plenary session, the vice chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ibrahim Danbaba, deplored the lackadaisical attitude of the committee.

According to him, the situation in the Army would have been different if the committee had lived up to its oversight responsibilities.

Danbaba blamed the chairman of the Army Committee, Senator George Akume for the lapse, saying there was a clear case of dereliction of duties on the part of Akume.

He lamented that the committee has remained dormant since Akume assumed its headship in 2017.

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