Tinubu promises houses, scholarships for families of slain soldiers

Adejoke Adeogun
Adejoke Adeogun
President Tinubu at the burial of slain soldiers

President Bola Tinubu has said that the families of the soldiers who were murdered in the Okuama community of Delta would be provided housing and full educational scholarships to the university level.

He said this during his speech at the burial ceremony held for the 17 deceased soldiers at the National Cemetery, Abuja. within 90 days.”

The families of each of the 17 slain soldiers will get a house in any part of Nigeria courtesy of the federal government, President Bola Tinubu said on Wednesday at their funeral in Abuja.

The 17 soldiers, including four officers, were killed in Okuama community in Delta State earlier this month. Military authorities said they were on a mission to restore peace between two warring communities – Okuama and Okoloba – when they were ambushed and murdered.

The killing has been condemned by most Nigerians, and President Tinubu has ordered that the perpetrators be brought to justice.

On Wednesday, the president reiterated his stance and urged community leaders to work with soldiers to ensure the perpetrators are apprehended.

“I want to make it clear, once more, that those who committed this heinous crime will not go unpunished. We will find them and our departed heroes will get justice,” Tinubu said.

“The elders and chiefs of Okuoma also have a duty to help the military in fishing out the gunmen who committed the barbaric crime against our men.”


A few days after the killing of the soldiers, many houses in the Okuama community were razed, and residents were made to flee to neighbouring communities. Many believe the action was a reprisal by aggrieved soldiers, a claim the military denied.

Tinubu reiterated the position of the military that it did not carry out reprisals.

“I wish to also commend our Armed Forces for their restraint in choosing not to carry out any reprisal attacks in Okuoma or its neighbouring communities. We must all ensure that the innocent people of Okuoma are not made to bear the punishment of the guilty and wicked among them,” Tinubu said.

Slain soldiers are patriots

Tinubu described the slain soldiers as patriots. “They went as peacemakers and peacekeepers, seeking to bring an end to the hostilities between the two communities.

“They didn’t go with tanks, machine guns and other weapons. They were on a mission of peace.

“The officers and soldiers who lost their lives that day were patriots, brave and noble men who gave their lives to defend and protect our nation against internal and external threats,” he said.

The Nigerian leader encouraged the armed forces to not be deterred by the killing of the soldiers.

“To the entire armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I have a message for you: Do not let the deaths of your compatriots discourage you. There is no higher honour than the vocation you have chosen to pursue. We cherish you.

“We cherish your labour of love. We salute your daily sacrifice in protecting your fellow citizens from danger. We acknowledge your sacrifices to defend our nation,” he said.

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