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Tola Sarumi: Names of Nigeria’s fallen soldiers: With regret and deep gratitude

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Tola Sarumi: Names of Nigeria’s fallen soldiers: With regret and deep gratitude

by Tola Sarumi

A fortnight ago, news filtered through of Boko Haram’s assault on Bama. Conflicting news report claimed the  Nigerian Army has lost the fight, others, that the battle was still raging. What we do know now, as corroborated by the same news sources that initially reported a defeat, is that Bama is back in the the control of our armed forces.

There was a cursory mention of the injured but no one told the Nigerian people how many of our soldiers have paid the ultimate price in defence of their country. I have heard it argued that such figures demoralise the country. Well,  I cannot dismiss such concerns off hand, however, the very least the fallen deserve is for us to know their names and to be able to thank them in ways that could never really be enough.

I’m loath to criticise the military at such times, they need our staunch support, however, the DHQ needs to understand that they need to allow the citizens to feel the loss, to understand the magnitude of the sacrifice these fallen and injured soldiers make. I am particularly interested in, if not a roll call of all our fallen in any particular battle, some photos of the men we’ve lost; people can relate better with what they see.

We started the Nigerian Army Support Group not only to encourage regular people to leave messages of support, to volunteer for fundraising activities and anything else we think may be of help but to remember those who gave their lives. To that end is the list below, all the soldiers listed here died on the 24th of September 2013, at about 13:00hrs when they were ambushed by Boko Haram, they belonged to the 81st Battalion.

This information was gathered from their families and colleagues, for verification, the men’s service Identity numbers were also provided but we’ve omitted those as they are still needed by the soldiers’ families in order to claim entitlements and benefits we hope the government provides. They were of disparate ranks and ethnic groups, these are those who knew they might not make it home, for a myriad of a reasons. Yet, they didn’t shirk their duty when called upon and because of that, they are no more.

The list below, in descending order, is complied according to the year the soldier joined the service, the earliest being 1992 and the latest, 2013. May their souls RIP.

Cpt Ayuba N.
Cpl Danjuma D.
Sgt Ibrahim A.
Sgt Tanimu T.
L.Cpl Kazeem A.
Cpl Jibrin M.
Cpl Rabiu B.
Sgt Abdulrazaq A.
Cpl Musa I.
Cpl Usman M.
Sgt Abuemi M.
Pte Ali H.
Cpl Mohammed H.
Sgt Abubakar M.
L.Cpl Rapjel A.
L.Cpl Ikechukwu N.
Cpl Adebayo A.
Cpl Kareem M.
Cpl Akinlolu O.
L.Cpl Akunyemi S.
Cpl Opoikuma O.
Cpl Idowu E.
Cpl Afolabi A.
Pte Aliyu I.
Pte Adamu Kanwai T.
Pte Ofonime A.
Pte Yohana B.
Sgt Yau K.
Tpr Yusuf A.
Gnr Chukwuemeka C.

Tola is a Nigerian by profession, and moonlights as an anti-money laundering consultant when she is not working. She eats books and legal opinions, nothing is obiter dicta in Nigeria, so, she pays close attention. Twitter: @Afrovii

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