Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai yesterday sobbed as he read an enthusiastic discourse at the internment of seven fighters killed in a Boko Haram assault at Malam Fotori, Borno state last week Friday. Giving the discourse at the National internment sorted out for the fighters at the National burial ground, Buratai lost control of his feelings while perusing his tribute to the troopers. Part of the tribute peruses;
“Here lie the bodies of our fallen heroes; Lt. Co. Muhammad Abu Ali, Staff Sgt. Muazu Ibrahim, Sgt Husseini Jafaru, Sgt Okon Bassey, Cpl Chukwu Simon, PTE Salishu Lawal, and Able Seaman Patrick Paul. These gallant soldiers were inducted into Operation Lafiya Dole in 2014 to form the pivot of the counter insurgency efforts of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in the North East. Through fearless and dogged determination to defend the territorial integrity of our fatherland, these turned the tide of battle to liberate Nigeria from the scourge of terrorism. As members of 119 Task Force Battalion, and the Armed Forces Special Forces, they went after the adversaries to smoke them out of their enclaves, bomb their factories had hiding areas. They were brave, precise, professional and inspiring. They led the battle to recapture the following towns and villages: Monguno, Baga, New Marge, Bama, Gwoza, Banki Junction, Gamboru Ngala, Yale, Yemteke, Bitam, Doronaira, Kagarwa, Ärrege, Abadam, and Mallam Fatori. In these battles, they rescued women, and children, fathers and mothers, the young and the old and restore peace and order to Nigerian citizens. At last on 4th November 2016, they paid the supreme sacrifice in the battle of Mallam Fatori. These men epitomize the best of our military. Our brave and gallant compatriots, your families and comrades will miss you. The entire nation will miss you but be rest assured that your labour will never be in vain. Sarkin Yarkin, the frontline general, you and your men have fought a good fight, you always told them to pray, stay alert, and stay alive. You will always be alive in our memories, we shall continue to pray for you, we shall continue to pray for you all, and we shall remain alert for you, for the cause you have laid your life for. Your loved ones will remain in our care and their welfare will be of utmost priority at all times”.