The Nigerian Army, on Friday, interred the remains of a soldier who had recently got married, Abdullahi Bhuwa Usman, who was killed by Boko Haram terrorists in January.
Usman was among the soldiers killed on January 29 when the insurgents engaged the Nigerian military in a four-hour battle to take control of Dikwa.
The attack happened a few hours after Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai handed over to Major General Ibrahim Attahiru as the Chief of Army Staff.
The gun battle started around 6:00 pm and lasted till about 10:00 pm. It claimed many casualties, including Usman.
A family source had told SaharaReporters that the deceased got married in December 2020 and was looking forward to raising a family when the tragic incident occurred.
However, the army authorities refused to bury the soldier three weeks after his death despite being a Muslim.
Khadijat Mohammed, wife of the deceased had urged the military to bury her husband and ‘allow him rest in peace.’
Khadijat alleged that the army authorities said Usman would not be buried until some senior officers who had travelled to Abuja returned to Borno State.
“He was posted from Ilorin, Kwara State to Borno for a special assignment. Till now, his burial has not been done because they said some senior army officers are in Abuja, they are waiting for their return. Imagine, he was a Muslim,” she told SaharaReporters.
“When we first heard about his death, we went to the army’s mortuary to check if we would see his dead body but they got angry. A senior officer asked me who told us that he was dead. They didn’t allow me to see him, they only allowed his father and his brother (to see him); they claimed his wife could not see him. They said I would be able to see him at the time he would be buried. They were very angry that we got to know about his death.
“Then they said they would not bury him until their seniors come back from Abuja. That’s how bad they treat civilians. Imagine, they didn’t pay any condolence visit to the family, they promised to come but they have not come till now. All they were after was ‘who told us about his death’.
“I wish to appeal to the Nigerian Army authorities to bury my husband; he was a Muslim. In Islam, this is not acceptable. I just want them to bury my husband, let them allow him to rest in peace. I don’t know what’s delaying his burial, they should allow him to rest.”
A family of the deceased said the army authorities after Khadijat’s interview with SaharaReporters ordered the body of the late Usman to be released for burial.
“Immediately after the story, the army authorities called the family and apologised; I heard his commander called as well. We were surprised, a Major later called us and told us he would be buried on Friday.
“Alhamdulillah, I’m happy to tell you that he has now been buried. All we are after now is for them to avail us the benefits accruable to his dependents, especially his young wife.”
SaharaReporters learnt Usman was buried at the military cemetery located in the Maimalari Barracks of the 7 Division, Nigerian Army in Maiduguri around 12pm on Friday.