Bodies of Lt Col. Ibrahim Isah Sakaba and 22 others soldiers that were killed in the Metele Boko Haram attack on 157 Task Force Batalliin of the Nigerian Army have been laid to rest at the Maimalari Cantonment Cemetery, Maiduguri, Borno State on Friday amidst tears.
Speaking at the occasion, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Tukur Buratai said ” it is with heavy hearts that today we bury our heroes that paid the supreme price in.the Metele Boko Haram attack on 18 November 2018..
The COAS who was represented by the Army Chief of Training and Operations, Major General, Lamidi Adeosun said ” over the time in our on going operations to defend our country many of our troops have paid the supreme price and Metele case where we lost 23 officers and soldiers is one of them, but we assure you that their sacrifices will not go in vain.
” Today we are burying 19 out of the 23 killed in the Metele attack while the other 4 will be buried in due course as their next of kin were not available to witness their burial today,” General Buratef added.
” I also convey to you the condolences of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian Army and the people of the nation. We pray for the reposed of the gentle souls of the fallen heroes. I assured you that the Nigerian Army will continue to be with their families,” he further stressed.
“Their death will never be in vain, as we are directed to deploy more equipment and personnel until we completely wipe out insurgents in our land “, he added.
Also speaking at the occasion, the theater commander Operation Lafiya Doke. Major General Benson Akinluyi said ” the sacrifices that our gallant officers and soldiers made in the fight against insurgency will continue to be in our minds. The Nigerian Army has lost 23 of our Best officers and soldiers in that attack. Lt Col. Ibrahim Isa Sakaba and other heroes are worthy ambassadors who will be remembered for their selfless services to their father land “.
“The efforts and contributions of our fallen heroes will remain ever green and indelible in our minds. I want to assure you that their names are already written in gold by this theater and will be reflected as such when the history of this operation is documented,” the theater commander added.
He said ” it is common knowledge that Boko Haram have continued with wanton destruction of lives and property to undermine our national security. It is also worthy to note that our gallant troops are determined to defend the territorial integrity of the nation”.
” The Boko Haram attack on our troops’ location in Metele on 18 November was one of those events that will be remembered in the history of this operation, ” the theater Commander further stressed.
In his remarks, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state commiserated with their immediate families, the Army and the entire Armed forces over the death of the heroes, adding that the people of Borno state will ever remain indebted for their sacrifices.
The Governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Alhaji Usmsn Durkwa said ” we will continue to support the Army in the fight against insurgents. We also pray that the souls of the departed heroes will rest in peace “…
Lt. Sakaba joined the Nigerian Defence Academy in 1996 as an infantry officer and held many positions before his last appointment as the commander 157 Task Force Battalion where he and some of his men were killed in the attack.