Army loses 16 men to insurgency, says Benue Commander

• Muslim community urges Ortom to recover looted funds

SIXTEEN (16) soldiers from the 72 Special Forces, Makurdi are said to have lost their lives in the North Eastern part of Nigeria as a result of Boko Haram insurgency.

This revelation was made by the Commanding Officer, 72 Special Force, Makurdi, Benue State, Colonel Timothy Lagbaja during a courtesy call on him by the leadership and members of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, Benue State Chapter.

Col. Lagbaja also informed that the Command lost 4 officers and 8 soldiers as a result of the incessant farmers/herders clash between. 2012 to date in Benue, even as he said several other soldiers have been injured in special force operations in Maiduguri and are presently receiving the best treatments in hospitals.

Meanwhile, the Muslim community in the state has implored Governor Samuel Ortom to do everything possible to recover allegedly looted funds by the immediate past administration of Dr. Gabriel Suswam.

The Muslim spokesman, Sheik Ibrahim Aliyu, who made the call during the breaking of fast with the governor at Benue Peoples’ House, Makurdi, also expressed grief over the state of township roads, particularly the North Bank area of the state capital and urged the Governor to as a matter of urgency, commence the rehabilitation of township roads and streets.

In another development, immediate past Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro has said that even as the much talked about change is enthroned by President Muhammadu Buhari, the job is not yet done until there is 24 hours electricity, until the last person on the street is employed and every average Nigerian accesses three square meals and has shelter over their heads.

Comrade Moro, who made the statement at his country home, Ogbokolo at a civic reception organized for him by his friends, maintained that whatever the political and religious background the people may come from, Nigeria remains a theatre where everybody has to contribute.

“Whatever President Muhammadu Buhari is doing affects everybody, the one former President Goodluck Jonathan did affected everybody and so on,” he added.

Lagbaja, who said despite the challenge, his troops are not scare in maintaining security, added that the command has earmarked plans to immortalize the fallen soldiers, while intimating too that over 500 soldiers were deployed to different parts of the state to tackle the farmers/ herdsmen crisis.

“We have gone a long way in combating the crisis. Clashes are isolated and far in between. We have also, recovered a lot of arms and ammunitions from criminal gangs in the state”, he added.

The commanding officer informed that as part of their community service, they recently organized a medical outreach programme in Daudu, Guma Local Government Area during which medical experts from the U.S. rendered free medical treatment to the people of the areas.

He therefore pledged for partnership with the media in disseminating information about their activities and appealed for verification of information concerning the military before going to press.

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