Pastor feels “pain for families” of slain soldiers by Boko Haram
The Nigerian army has continued to suffer losses in the ongoing radical Islamic insurgency in northeastern Nigeria against the Boko Haram terrorist jihadi group. 17 soldiers were killed Wednesday night, 8 August, when a band of well armed Boko Haram Islamists attacked a military base with troops sent from 81 brigade, stationed in Jilli village were redeployed to Garunda.
“The truth of the matter is that the troops in Jilli were relocated to Garunda where a new base was established,” said a military source who pleaded anonymity. “Troops were just setting up and the excavator operator was working to fortify the base with trenches against attack from the terrorists when the attack happened,” the soldier said.
Another anonymous military source told AFP that “Our troops came under attack from Boko Haram terrorists in Garunda last night. Unfortunately we lost 17 troops, 14 others were injured while an unspecified number is still unaccounted for.” The source said.
“There is a lot that is going on which the military is hiding from the public.” A Pastor said to Global Christian News. “We have seen burial of soldiers being done at nights near the military barracks. If the army is not hiding anything, don’t these soldiers gallantly fighting for the nation be given honourable military funerals? Is this not what is done in civilised countries?” The pastor who also pleaded anonymity said. “As a pastor, you can have pain for their families.” He added
“The matter is so bad that soldiers who are Christians, anytime they come to Church, the fear and trauma is evident. We are concerned for their families and their children.” The Pastor added.
Seven people, including the village chief and his wife, were beheaded by the Boko Haram islamists on August 6, in Munduri village about 10 kilometres (seven miles) north of Maiduguri the Borno State capital. “The attackers seized seven people and beheaded them before setting fire to the entire village,” militia leader Umar Ari told AFP.
The 10 years Boko Haram Islamic insurgency has devastated predominantly Christian communities in the local councils and killed over half a million people, predominantly Christians, in the northeastern and middle belt region of Nigeria.
Five other people were killed by the terrorist group last week in Gasarwa village, near the garrison town of Monguno, Borno State in a continuous subsistence killing and destruction of communities that has continued in the last 10 years.
The Nigerian army has claimed, several times that the war with the militants was over and that the insurgents have been ‘defeated’ however over 50 soldiers have been killed in the last five weeks.
The country’s Information Minister Lai Mohammed still insists that “we promised to fight insecurity … despite what anybody says, we have decimated Boko Haram.”
Hassan John is West Africa Editor, GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos.