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Okuama: Tinubu awards scholarships, houses to children, families of 17 slain soldiers

President Bola Tinubu has awarded scholarships and houses to children and families of 17 soldiers killed on Thursday, March 14, in Okuama Delta state.

Tinubu, on Wednesday, March 27, led governors, federal lawmakers, military high echelons, government functionaries, relatives, and friends of the soldiers and officers who were brutally killed to their funeral.

Tinubu was the special guest of honour at the event held at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja.

The soldiers were said to be on a peace mission to the warring towns of Okuama and Okoloba when they were attacked in the riverine Okuoma community.

The President joined the funeral at 4:10 p.m.

Speaking at the event, Tinubu assured the soldiers’ families of maximum support.

The President approved scholarships for all of the fallen soldiers’ children, including those still in the womb,

Additionally, he authorised homes in any area of Nigeria for the families of the fallen soldiers.

According to Tinubu, the families of the fallen officers and soldiers have 90 days to receive all benefits from the military.

The President expressed sympathy to the families of the fallen officers and also stated that the government would not back down from its determination to find their killers.

“I wish to also commend our Armed Forces for their restraint in choosing not to carry out any reprisal attacks in Okuoma or its neighbouring communities.

“We must all ensure that the innocent people of Okuoma are not made to bear the punishment of the guilty and wicked among them.

“They won’t go unpunished. We will find them, and our departed heroes will get justice,” the President assured.

Speaking at the event, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Taoreed Lagbaja, reiterated the Army’s commitment to bringing perpetrators of the killings to book and recover all missing weapons.

He said three of the widows of the slain soldiers were pregnant. He assured the families of the fallen soldiers of maximum support from the Nigerian Army.

“While commiserating with the families of these gallant soldiers, I assure them that the Nigerian Army and the good people of this country will not leave them in the cold,” Lagbaja assured.

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Christopher Musa; COAS Lagbaja; Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Hassan Abubakar; and Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Emmanuel Ogalla, were all present at the occasion.

The Deputy Senate President, Jibrin Barau, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas and other members of the National Assembly were also present.

Other dignitaries at the event include the Governor of Delta State, Sheriff Oborevwori, Bayelsa’s Duoye Diri, Kogi’s Usman Ododo, Kaduna’s Uba Sani, Imo’s Hope Uzodimma and Kano’s Abba Yusuf.

The 17 personnel killed include a lieutenant ​colonel, two majors, one captain, and 12 soldiers.

On March 18, the military authorities released the names and pictures of the 17 soldiers.

Meanwhile, Airport Road, Abuja, the venue of the burial, was shut down entirely on Wednesday for the slain soldiers’ burial.

An eyewitness said commuters were stranded on the ever-busy Airport Road as the burial ceremony was concluded after 6 p.m.

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