The Uk’Omu Igala Organization, an apex socio-cultural group in Kogi East Senatorial District, mourns two of its sons, Lieutenant Jauro Ibrahim Suleiman and Captain Samuel Atta, who paid the supreme price in defence of the nation last Sunday, July 24, 2022.
The two gallant officers of Igala extraction were among the 10 military personnel ambushed and killed by terrorists, when troops of 7 Guards Battalion and 167 Special Force Battalion conducted “clearance patrol” around Bwari area of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, in response to intelligence that terrorists had threatened institutions in that area council.
The two late officers fought a good fight and have ultimately joined the long list of many Igala sons and daughters who have sacrificed their lives since the over a decade-long national battle against terrorists in diverse names – Boko Haram, the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP), Ansaru, and now bandits, who have spread out their deadly operations in the North-West and North Central States.
Apart from our sons and daughters in the military, Kogi East Senatorial District is under siege from bandits who double as kidnappers, destroying and preventing our farmers from accessing their farmlands, and kidnapping many of our people from highways into the forest, and making demands for unthinkable sums of money as ransom.
Those who could not pay are tortured or killed; while even those who sold off their valuables and assets of friends and family members to pay, tell bitter tales of humiliation and wickedness.
As we mourn these officers, and condole with the immediate family members of the killed soldiers, we call on the Federal Government and the military to come up with a paradigm shift in the fight against terrorists.
Before these soldiers were killed, there were reports that terrorists had camped in a forest around Bwari. Not much was done to dislodge them until they became entrenched and very bold to attack officers of the elite Guards Brigade in FCT.
We cannot allow our forests to become abodes of death, instead of sources of livelihood for the growing population, through diverse kinds of farming.
We call on the military to wipe out terrorists from our forests so that law-abiding Nigerian citizens can live in peace and contribute to national development.
We further call on government to seek international support in fighting terrorists. We should not continue to count and mourn the loss of our young men unnecessarily to so-called terrorists who illegally enter into our country.
While we painfully mourn the late Captain Samuel Attah and Lieutenant J Suleiman, we use this medium to convey special condolences to His Royal Highness, Attah Igala and Chairman of Kogi State Council of Chiefs, Alaji Matthew Opaluwa Oguche, parents and direct relations of the deceased, as well as the Government and the enduring people of Kogi State over the unfortunate incident.
May God help Nigeria and clear this present darkness from our country.
Sebastian Abuh, PhD
July 28, 2022