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Senate suspends plenary to honour 44 fallen soldiers

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Nigeria’s Senate Thursday adjourned plenary in honour of the 44 soldiers killed recently by Boko Haram insurgents in Maiduguri, Borno State.

This was a sequel to point of order raised by the Senate Deputy Leader, Senator Ibn Na’Allah, to call the attention of the Senate to the death of 44 troops, including a lieutenant colonel Sakaba, who is Na’Allah’s cousin.

Rampaging Boko Haram insurgents had on Sunday overran a Nigerian Army battalion, 157 Task Force Battalion, in Metele, Abadam Local Government Area, Borno State.

The insurgents carted away a large cache of arms, ammunition and military equipment.

It’s unclear why the Nigerian Army and the Defence Headquarters are yet to officially react to the attack.

Na’Allah while asking that plenary be suspended, stated that the demand was not personal but to honour the commitment and contribution of Nigerian soldiers.

“I want it to bring it to the notice of the Senate that Lieutenant Colonel Sakaba is my cousin and he was head of that team that was attacked and he lost his life,” said Na’Allah

“Unfortunately, he was one of the most dedicated soldiers I have ever met. Not because he is my relation but because I knew from his commitment to what he has gone through and his contribution to the Nigerian army,” he said.

The deputy senate president, Ike Ekweremadu expressed disappointment at the neglect of Nigerian soldiers.

Ekweremadu urged the federal government to find other measures to protect them.

“We need to find out measures to protect them. Is any person paying them their allowance? Do they allow them go on holidays? God forbid I should keep quiet. It is a pity this is happening in our time,” he said.

Before the Senate adjourned, it mandated its committee on the army to pay a condolence visit to families of the deceased and the Chief of Army Staff to investigate the situation and ascertain what military measures are in place to protect the soldiers.

The lawmakers also resolved to visit the soldiers at the war front and agreed to have a financial contribution to the families of the deceased.

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