COAS assures pregnant widows, families of slain Soldiers of support

75

Lt-General Taoreed Lagbaja, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), has told the families of soldiers killed in the Okuama community of Delta State that they will receive full support.

The COAS made this statement on Wednesday, during the burial of 17 military personnel at Abuja’s National Military Cemetery.

On March 14, 2024, the troops were killed by ruthless criminals in the riverine Okuoma village while on a peace mission to the area’s feuding Okuama and Okoloba villages.

The massacre of the soldiers was described as “most barbaric” by the COAS, who stated that it took 72 hours to recover the disfigured bodies of the fallen soldiers.

Lt-General Lagbaja reiterated the Army’s commitment to bring the perpetrators of the heinous crime to book and recover all missing weapons.

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

He said, “The Okuoma killing has added to the care of the Nigerian Army and by extension, the Nigerian State, 10 widows, three of whom are four, five and eight months’ pregnant, 21 orphans and many other dependents which include parents.

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

‘National Awards, Scholarships, Houses’

President Bola Tinubu, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the event, led governors, federal lawmakers, military top brass, and dignitaries to lay wreaths in honour of the slain officers and soldiers.

The President assured the families of the soldiers of maximum support. The President approved scholarship for all children of the slain soldiers, including those in the womb. He also approved houses for families of the deceased military personnel in any part of Nigeria. The President gave the military 90 days to pay all benefits to the families of the slain officers and soldiers.

Tinubu said, “They have all been awarded now a posthumous national honour. The four gallant officers have been accorded the awards of the Members of the Order of Nigeria (MON), The 13 courageous soldiers who also lost their lives have been awarded the Officers of the Federal Republic medals.”

While commiserating with the families of the slain military personnel, the President said the government’s resolve to hunt down the perpetrators will not wither.

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