“But all the same please I am sorry,
As a leader, I needed to say something, the people needed to hear from, and as at that time that I made the comment that it was two soldiers that were missing it was based on the information that was made available to me” — Governor Ortom of Benue State Nigeria apologizing to his Benue citizens.
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has apologized to the bereaved families of the 12 soldiers who were ambushed and killed about a week ago by armed bandits at Bonta community in Konshisha Local Government Area, LGA, of the state.
The Governor also condoled President Muhammadu Buhari, the Chief of Army Staff and the leadership of the armed forces in the country over the murder of the military personnel in the state.
Speaking Monday at the funeral of the personnel at the Wurukum Military Cemetery in Makurdi the Governor who condemned the murder and described it as unfortunate promised to collaborate with the military to apprehend the masterminds of the dastardly act.
“I condole Mr President who is the Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces, the Chief of Army Staff and indeed the leadership of our security forces in the country.
On behalf of government and people of Benue State, we condemn the killing of our innocent soldiers who were out there to keep peace in our state.
“It is unfortunate that this incident took place. I want the Nigerian army, the families of the deceased and indeed all Nigerians to know that the attack on security personnel is an attack on all.
“This attack was unwarranted, it was not needed because all these patriotic soldiers were there to keep peace and that was why they were ambushed. Otherwise, we all know what soldiers can do and the capacity they have to defend themselves.
“So we condemn this and we want to assure everyone that my government will join hands with the security forces to ensure that all those who perpetrated this sad act are brought to book.
“I equally want to apologize to the bereaved families, in the course of my trying to manage this challenge if I said anything that was offensive to the families of the deceased I want to say that I am sorry.
“As a Governor, I needed to say something, the people needed to hear from, and as at that time that I made the comment that it was two soldiers that were missing it was based on the information that was made available to me.
“But all the same, please I am sorry. It is the responsibility of this government to also join hands with the leadership of the army to see how we can support the bereaved families. May God reset their peaceful souls,” Governor Ortom said.
Conducting the funeral service, Chaplain of 73 Battalion of the Nigeria Army, Major Ibrahim Mavisky, as well as the Imam, Captain A. Bashir both noted that the fallen heroes were peacemakers who went out not for evil but for peace and regrettably met their death in the process.
“The slain soldiers were out to serve the nation but lost their lives. We, therefore, pray for their souls and that God should grant them eternal rest,” they said.
Recall that a week ago an Army Captain and 11 soldiers were ambushed and killed by criminal elements in Bonta community, while on routine patrol of the troubled communities in Oju and Konshisha LGAs who had been at daggers-drawn over disputed farmland.