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Nigerian Soldiers Honored, Families Offered Support

Nigeria's President Pledges Scholarships, Housing for Slain Soldiers' Families

by Oluwatosin Racheal Alabi

Abuja, Nigeria – In a solemn ceremony held on Wednesday, President Bola Tinubu honored 17 Nigerian soldiers who were killed in Delta State on March 14, 2024. The soldiers lost their lives while attempting to mediate a communal conflict.

National Recognition and Tributes

President Bola Tinubu posthumously awarded national honors to all 17 soldiers, recognizing their bravery and sacrifice. Four officers received the Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) award, while 13 soldiers were awarded the Officer of the Federal Republic Medal (OFR).

President Tinubu conferred the national honor of Member of the Order of the Niger on the Commanding Officer 181 Amphibious Battalion, Lt. Col. A.H Ali; Maj S.D Shafa (N/13976); Maj D.E Obi (N/14395) and Capt U Zakari (N/16348).

He also conferred the honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger on SSgt Yahaya Saidu (#3NA/36/2974); Cpl Yahaya Danbaba (1ONA/65/7274); Cpl Kabiru Bashir (11NA/66/9853); LCpl Bulus Haruna (16NA/TS/5844); LCpl Sola Opeyemi (17NA/760719); LCpl Bello Anas (17NA/76/290); LCpl Hamman Peter (NA/T82653); LCpl Ibrahim Abdullahi (18NA/77/1191); Pte Alhaji Isah (17NA/76/6079); Pte Clement Francis (19NA/78/0911); Pte Abubakar Ali (19NA/78/2162); Pte Ibrahim Adamu (19NA/78/6079) and Pte Adamu Ibrahim (21NA/80/4795).

“Each man now belongs to the hallowed list of servicemen and women who defended our country and protected their fellow Nigerians not minding the risk to their own lives,” President Tinubu declared. “They have all been awarded posthumous national honors.”

Tinubu said,  “They didn’t go with tanks, machine guns, and other weapons. They were on a mission of peace. Ali kept faith with his military calling till the end.

Remembering Fallen Heroes

President Tinubu also announced a series of measures to support the families of the fallen soldiers. The federal government will provide each family with a house in any location of their choosing within Nigeria. Additionally, all children of the deceased soldiers will receive scholarships to pursue their education up to the university level.

Also, the President emphasized the importance of swift action in supporting the families. “The military must, within the next 90 days, ensure that all the benefits of the departed are paid to their families,” he stated.

The ceremony served as a poignant tribute to the soldiers’ courage and dedication. President Tinubu lauded their commitment to peacemaking, highlighting that they “went as peacemakers and peacekeepers respectfully seeking to bring an end to the hostilities between the two communities.”

The President concluded the ceremony by expressing the nation’s gratitude to the fallen soldiers. “On behalf of a grateful nation, we honor the sacrifice of Ali and the other gallant patriots who died that day,” he said.

Source: Punch

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