Minister of Defence, Retired Major General Bashir Magashi says the military will not relent in it’s efforts to protect lives and property of Nigerians despite the unwarranted killings of personnel.
Retired General Magashi gave the assurance in Benue State when he visited to commiserate with the families of the twelve soldiers murdered by youths in Konshisha Local Government area.
Speaking during a courtesy call on Governor Samuel Ortom, the Minister of Defence decried the gruesome manner the officers were killed and stressed the need for such incidence to be averted.
He pointed out that while the military hierarchy would do everything necessary to motivate the troops to continue with their constitutional mandate, the Benue State Government must ensure that the bandits who murdered the soldiers are arrested and justice served.
Governor Samuel Ortom expressed regret of the Government and people of Benue State on the Konshisha incidence and assured the Nigeria army that the bandits who killed the officers would be apprehended and the weapons recovered.
Governor Ortom who pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari and the military to accept the condolences of the state said Government would reach out to the families of the murdered officers with some form of support.
The Governor also expressed appreciation to the military, especially members of the Operation Whirl Stroke for doing extremely well in securing the lives of Benue people, noting that without the military the state would have be over run by herdsmen and bandits.
The Minister of Defence was accompanied on the visit by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor that of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru and Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao as well as other top military officers.
The Nigerian Army last week reported that some soldiers and an officer were found dead after they went missing in the area.
It said the bodies of the troops were found at Konshisha Local Government Area of the state by a search team drawn from Operation Whirl Stroke.
The Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, said the attack on the troops was unprovoked.
Trouble started when soldiers of Operation Whirl Wind deployed to intervene in a bloody land dispute between Bonta village of Mbator and Okpute-Ainu in Oju LGA were ambushed by a local militia.
The soldiers and an army officer were killed in the ambush while their rifles were taken away.