Governor Benue state, Samuel Ortom has rendered a qualifying apology to the 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.
The governor spoke at the funeral of the personnel at the Wurukum Military Cemetery in Makurdi where he offered his word of condolences to the family of the deceased soldiers.
He assured everyone that his government would make sure that they partner with the security agencies to bring the perpetrators to book.
He said: “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 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.
“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,”