The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has described the killing of some soldiers and airmen on lawful duty in Bosso, Niger State, by suspected gun runners as unacceptable.
Speaking with newsmen on Tuesday shortly after addressing personnel at the 332 Artilery Regiment in Shendam, Buratai, however, said the incident would not deter the military from carrying out its lawful duties.
“What happened in Bosso is highly unfortunate,’’ he said, noting that the troops were on a mission to recover arms hid in communities in the area when they were ambushed and killed.
“But instead of them – gun runners to be law abiding, they took the law into their hands and attack the troops.
“We have the mandate to bring the situation under control, we are working with the police to make sure that we keep our society free of crime,’’ the chief of army staff said.
It will be recalled that the army in a statement on Saturday said that eight of its soldiers and two airmen were ambushed and killed in Bosso during raid on hideout of suspected gun runners.
Spokesman of the army, Col. Sani Usman, however, said the military killed eight of the suspected bandits and arrest 57 others.
On his visit to the regiment and other military formations in the state, Buratai said it was “routine’’ and to find out challenges of the troops in order to address them.
“If you are not on ground to see them and know what their challenges are, you will not be able to appreciate and address them,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the chief of army staff announced the promotion of a Gunner in the regiment, Dantani Ibrahim, to Lace Corporal, for his bravery, dedication and hard work.
Buratai, who later addressed wives of soldiers at the regiment, promised to give their welfare a top priority, adding that children of soldiers, who died in line of duty would be sponsored even up to university level.
He also said that any of those children, who so desire to get enlisted into any of the military services would be given priority.