Metele Attack: Gov’t should tell Senators how to help – Senator Olujimi

Senators bemoaned the reported killing of 44 soldiers attached to the 157 Task Force Battalion in Metele, Borno State by Boko Haram insurgents.

A sombre atmosphere enveloped the plenary as the lawmakers took turns to condemn the “monumental loss” in Metele.

The casualty figure and details of the attack remained hazy yesterday. Some sources said the figure was higher than 44; others said it was not up to that. Military spokesmen did not respond to inquiries by our reporters.

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The upper legislative body ordered its committees on Army and Defence to investigate the killings and examine the welfare and wellbeing of troops engaged in counter insurgency operations.

The senators also resolved to visit officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces on the counter insurgency campaign in the Northeast.

Their resolution followed a motion by Deputy Majority Leader Bala Ibn Na’Allah (APC, Kebbi South) at the instance of the Senate President.

Na’Allah decried the plight of military personnel fighting insurgency in the Northeast, stressing that one of the officers killed in the attack was his cousin.

After observing a minute’s silence in honour of the fallen soldiers, the lawmakers resolved to pay a condolence visit to the Chief of Army Staff and families of the slain soldiers.

The senators plan to conduct a “thorough” investigation into the circumstances surrounding the killings and the welfare of soldiers. The standing committee on Army was mandated to carry out the investigation.

Other contributors, including Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, bemoaned the hazardous tasks of men and officers of the Armed Forces fighting Boko Haram.

They called on the Federal Government and the military authorities to adequately equip the personnel and address all welfare-related issues in the Mlitary.

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