The Multi Nationaal Joint Task Force has paid cheques valued at N23 million to 40 families of deceased soldiers and members of Civilian Joint Task Force in the North East.
Major General Abdulsalam Abubakar, Sector 3 Commander, MNJTF, made the payment on Thursday in Maiduguri.
At the presentation ceremony, Abubakar said the beneficiaries were families of those who died during Operation Sharan Fage conducted from November to December 2021 and Operation Lake Sanity 1, conducted from January to December 2022.
He said that the gesture was to honour the fallen heroes and appreciate them for laying their lives in the defence of the country.
He said in the Borno State capital: “It is a token of appreciation from the MNJTF family to the families of our deceased colleagues and friends.
“Today, we are gathered here to commend and remember the sacrifices of our fallen officers, soldiers and members of the Civilian Joint Task Force.
“Who through their selfless efforts brought peace and security to Borno, the North East, Nigeria and indeed all Lake Chad Basin countries.
“This ceremony was conceived to honour our fallen heroes who paid the supreme price as a result of the operations conducted within Sector 3 Operation Hadin Kai MNJTF Area of Responsibility.
“These operations were planned with force protection of our personnel paramount in execution.
“However like all military operations which are characterized, with attendant high risks, our dear loved ones paid the supreme price.”
Abubakar explained that the gesture was customary with MNJTF under the leadership of the Force Commander who placed priority on the welfare of personnel and their families.
The Sector 3 Commander said that efforts of the deceased personnel had created an enabling environment for citizens of the Lake Chad Basin and guaranteed freedom, peace and security in the region.
He added: “We cannot thank the families and Next of Kin enough for holding forth after the demise of these patriotic Nigerians and indeed, those also wounded in action.
“We therefore continue to encourage the families to preserve as they come to terms with their losses.
“Always remember that you are not alone on this journey as it is our collective responsibility to fill the void created by the loss of your spouses.”
Also speaking, Major General Abdul Khalifa, Force Commander, MNJTF, said military operations is occasioned with casualties, particularly in asymmetric warfare.
Khalifa said: “The occasion was unique in several ways.
“Firstly, it is to appreciate and recognize the gallantry of our troops and members of the Civilian Joint Task Force who were injured or killed during the two MNJTF Operations.
“I am therefore pleased to say that the MNJTF deeply appreciates the sacrifices of these gallant troops as they, alongside their colleagues, dedicated and sacrificed their lives so we can live in a free and prosperous society.
“They are indeed the pride of the Lake Chad Region and particularly Nigeria.
“Our debt to these heroic and valiant troops and other partners can never be paid or compensated, it is only but a show of gratitude and appreciation.
“Today’s event concludes the payment of compensation and grants to troops as similar events have been held across the other 3 sectors of the MNJTF.”
In his remarks, the Theatre Commander, Major General Ibrahim Ali, said that the fallen personnel gave their best in defence of their fatherland.
Ali also paid tribute to the members of the Civilian Joint Task Force who played crucial roles in the operations.
He enjoined the families to make judicious use of the support to enhance their lives.
He said: “I am pleased to state that the entire armed forces and the nation remained grateful to our fallen heroes and their families as we continue to do our best to restore total peace in the North East and other theatres of operation in the country.”