In Pictures: Nigeria Buries Fallen Soldiers

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The remains of fifteen soldiers who died during military operation against Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria and Mali between May and June, 2013, were buried Thursday at National Military Cemetery, in Abuja. Photos: by Femi Ipaye.

The bodies of the late soldiers to their final resting place.
The bodies of the late soldiers to their final resting place.
Vice President Namadi Sambo(c), Minister of state defence, Olusola Obada(R) and Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Azubuike Ihejirika
Vice President Namadi Sambo (c), Minister of State Defence, Olusola Obada (r) and Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika


Bodies to their final resting place
Bodies to their final resting place.
Caps and Boots of the late soldiers
Caps and boots of the late soldiers
Sister to one of the late soldiers, TPR Kantoma Daniel
Sister to one of the late soldiers, TPR Kantoma Daniel
Committing the soldiers bodies to the mother earth
Committing the soldiers bodies to the mother earth
Wife of one of the late soldiers with her kid
Wife of one of the late soldiers with her kid
Committing the bodies to the mother earth
Committing the bodies to the mother earth
Tayo the net of kin to SSGT Keku Abebayo of the killed soldiers
Tayo, the next of kin to SSGT Keku Abebayo,one of the killed soldiers









  1. manpolo

    lukman u no de luk wetin de hapen?i guess ur among dose pple makin de north a place ov horror.until we tell ourselves de truth we wuld continue 2 be at de recievin end

  2. manpolo

    u knw wat is nt easy to sai dis bt i hve 2.we notherners are foolish.we aint makin sense in our actions.we are using our hands 2 distroy our hme.we shuld rather tel ourselves de truth.dats y odas are progressin nd we are markin tym.we shuld be careful cos our future is in danger.

  3. Ram'sy

    R I P to the brave heroes who war for the love, fate and justice in Nigeria. The dead will always bury dead………… I urge the federal Government to compensate the families of those affected………… God bless Nigeria.

  4. Ditto

    Thnk to our govt. 4 d befiting burial given to our heroes.up FG! Boko haram leaders ,let alon members cn nt b given dat kind burial.they r buried by vulture.

  5. Elder Adewumi J.Adex

    Though, the fallen soldiers were given the last respect yet it should not end there. Please, the concerned body should give unto Ceasars the things that belong to Ceasars through their appropriate Spouses and Next of kins as at when due. MAY THEIR SOULS BE RESTING IN PERFECT PEACE.

  6. Kelvin

    Personally,i dont pity anybody except innocent civilians because Ojukwu say dis mennace coming from the north but little could he do.Now we are all suffeering it.I ran away frrom Kano afteer NYSC orientation cos i dont want a useless hausa man to slaughter me.who is Bokoharam?with time they wud die meanwhile the south is not reliquishing power even if they like they shud metamorphosise into al-queda.Nigeria must survive!long live Nigeria!

    1. Anonymous

      The problem is not that the Hausa are useless people. There is no such thing as a useless person or a useless race. What there is at any given time any where in the world is people who have chosen to partner with evil, been deceived into partnering with evil or coerced into partnering with evil.
      If people would give themselves the best chance in life by being Roman Catholic, there would be much less strife everywhere in the world. But everyone wants to be wise, they want to be Pentecostals, they want to follow Islam, they want to be Animists etc.; and so disaster befalls them and then they say, “Why is this happening to me?”.

  7. Kelvin

    So Bokoharam is Real?Jesus!ahh may thier soul rest in peace.I want to be buried in dis uniform cos i wud b proud of it

  8. Dr onwe Nich

    You stood galantly for us,may u rest in peace my heroes.and may boko haram know no peace as decleared in the holy bible.



  10. DaNieL

    But we should try tell ourself the truth in this country.if we can not stay together is high time we go our seprate ways as north,west,easth.b/c noting shows that we are one or will ever be.wuy waisting blood of the inocent in the name of one nigeria.

  11. taiwo

    God in heaven will make ur souls rest in peace becos u died in the plight for its reign among God’s people…… The Lord will be with your family…. Boko haram and their acomplisher’s will not know peace IJN.

  12. Olaolu

    thank you for been brave and not rejecting the duty, this I pray, both in serving and retired force member, civilians that are directly and cowardly member that did not declear their membership openly and doing these evil to the life of people and causing pain, you will not know peace all your life in your body, health, family, All boko haram memmber sponsors, supporters, you have cause pain, pain shall never depert form you unless you you did not make innocenct people to pass through the pain.
    stop this eveil completetly and stop others from doing the evil.
    If Allah is a true God Let him fight for himself rather than you killing people and running away and refusing to to die for this Allah.

    1. Anonymous

      With the way the military behave/have behaved – extrajudicial beatings everywhere as a matter of course, extrajudicial killings in the Niger Delta for instance – it is no surprise that Boko Haram etc. adopt the same or even worse tactics. I don’t pity any soldier that has died, because these soldiers joined the armed forces knowing what sort of character the armed forces have.

  13. happy

    Boko haram watever dy call dem, na only God we help us. Cos dy den have consuin oh, dy are evils

  14. michael

    may thier souls rest in perfect peace amen.

  15. sunny

    Hmm, I felt so bad for what an seeing. I sympathize with the families of this ones. Only those affected would know how painful it is. Boko haram or what ever name u may be called.we share so many things in this world and that is SOURCE, ORIGIN.we will all account fo everything we involve ourselves very sure its not yet time for GOD to arrest. Boko haram get ready to leave this Earth… Rest in peace devoted soldiers

  16. shinesunny65

    And the stupid arewa terror group are sayin amnesty should be given to bh terrorists rom niger-delta oil money.parasites!

  17. sunny

    Rest in peacededicated and truthful citizens of NIGERIA,may God grant them al jana.

  18. Samuel

    May their soul rest in peace. The end time of Haram Boko or whatever name u answer.May God help and protect other soldiers to wipe all of u away from the surface of the earth AMEN.

  19. diamond

    may d souls of our fallen heroes rest in peace.d military authority re messing up hw can a military personnel risk his life and serve d nation for six and even more than dat and d govt cannot pay their transport back to their various unit.pls someone shld help me talk to d govt soldiers re not slave.

  20. Williams

    May Almighty God accept their souls in peace,but i beg God to destroy our evil leaders

  21. samson ali

    May there souls rest in the lord

  22. huum

    Can someone tell that stupid minister of state that her ugly big hat is not needed at the funeral . It is so innapropriate and out of place. This is not a fashion show, try ans some respect and class if you have any at all for GODS sake.

  23. Amazing

    These folks died in May and June, only to be buried in July? Seriously? Talk about adding insult to injury. Only in Nigeria do you find delayed burial for fallen heros. Nigerian so called leaders need to get education in protocol 101. Geez.This country is so not worth dying for. My heart and prayers goes put to the families.

  24. Koya

    As for Police personnel, they die unsung, unmourned and without honour- in the same country! Life is the same. The authorities should accord them the same respect and repose.
    Those among them who manage to stay alive groan, in abject poverty and left to retire into penury, as their pension have been stolen, by the very people, who they spent their life time, to protect.

    1. Anonymous

      As for policemen, they rob people at gunpoint in traffic every single day; they rob people like poor taxi drivers who are doing honest work for meagre pay at gunpoint and so they inspire every armed robber from Lagos to Katsina to do the same. I do not pity them at all.

    2. Anonymous

      It may seem a little harsh to leave these comments considering that widows and family of the dead feature in the pictures above and may the Good Lord forgive me if these officers that died were ones that had not committed any atrocities.

      But many widows and family of military/police personnel (not necessarily these ones here) are the same ones who live off the proceeds of what their spouses have stolen at gunpoint from helpless civilians.
      A military or police force under normal circumstances does a job just like anybody else. But in the case of the Nigerian military/police they are far from a standard that can be classified as normal and are certainly not anywhere near excellent.
      In fact, with what we have experienced from them in the past and still are experiencing from them now, it is not unreasonable to assume that even these dead ones here have been involved in extorting from, beating, maiming and killing innocent people. These crimes from these military/police are so commonplace in Nigeria that we have come to accept these as occurrences which do not even shock.
      As such, I don’t see why I should be automatically shocked (emphasis on automatically) by these coffins that feature here in these pictures.
      Many of the people currently in the police and military are the same people who served tyrants like Babangida and Abacha (and we see Abacha’s widow and children living happily off the proceeds of Abacha’s thefts, as are Babangida’s children living happily off the proceeds of his thefts).
      The only people I feel sorry for are those few who have served without blemish. The others, I think, join simply because they are violently disposed, they are bullies and they think this career is an avenue for them to express these traits legally.
      Olusegun Obasanjo was apparently very poor; so was his schoolmate and fellow editor on the school’s newspaper, Moshood Abiola. Obasanjo is a brute, so he joins the army. Abiola is a gentleman, so he uses his brains and goes into business. I rest my case. Unfortunately, Abiola himself may have had a few too many unnecessary dealings with the most disgusting amongst these military people and this may have cost him the presidency he won in what people say was possibly the most fair election Nigeria has ever had. We should all learn from his mistakes.
      Obasanjo was responsible directly or indirectly for the death of Funmilayo Ransome Kuti and also for the killings in Odi in the Niger Delta in 1999. Yes, some police officers had been killed in Odi before the reprisals by the army. I do not condone the killing of police officers or military people (even bad ones – instead they should be brought to trial), but since when does an innocent person have to expect to be killed or to have his house burned to the ground because someone in the neighbouring house or neigbouring street has committed a crime? Whatever happened to investigation, evidence, fair trial, right of appeal?
      The survivors of Odi have recently won a case against the government for the damage caused during the reprisals by the army, but the government is taking the case to the Court of Appeal. Isn’t it a shame that those innocent people who died in Odi weren’t afforded the luxury of a trial, or of an appeal. Instead they were summarily executed.
      Here again it is not unreasonable to assume that this was simply to protect oil interests in the Delta, in a similar (but not the same) manner Ken Saro Wiwa was killed by Abacha.
      We have to stop tolerating this kind of thing in Nigeria. We have to stop accepting the mantra that we’re a developing country and we should accept these things as a normal phase of development; we’ve been accepting this for almost 30 years, if not a lot more. It is a satanic lie.
      The Bible says in Proverbs 29 v 4 “When the king is concerned with justice, the nation will be strong, but when he is only concerned with money, he will ruin his country.” I think this is a very good explanation of why we are in the dismal situation we are in today. In a democracy, we are all, in a way, kings or rulers; even in a military dictatorship this is still the case, because much of what military dictators do is influenced by the public, which is why coups were possible; because we’ve all been concerned with money, rather than justice, we have ruined our country. We sit here in Lagos or Kano enjoying oil money from the Delta, while the Delta rots under poisonous fumes from gas flaring and its rivers are polluted by oil spills, but it’s okay because it’s the Delta, not Lagos or Kano. So the International Oil Companies and their home governments see what we allow them to do in the Delta and they treat all of us, not just the Deltans, like second-class human beings.
      To remedy all of this kind of thing we need to adopt a more vigilant type of democracy, along the lines of the Swiss model of democracy. In fact, we should be able to leap frog the Swiss and better their system, as we in a way leap frogged the British in the sense that all our officials were elected; no hereditary House of Lords like the British had till very recently and which I think they have still in part retained. A direct democracy like the Swiss model, possibly even more direct, is what is required. People try to claim that this would be a very slow and cumbersome system, but I think the quality of decisions made would be far, far better. I think that, really, Nigeria should split into as many countries as there are groups that want their own independence and then each should adopt a model of democracy along the lines of the Swiss model of democracy. This should be done in a very, very calm and considered manner, so carefully that the change in governance structure, the transition process, would be almost imperceptible.

      1. no name

        you instead of u to say what is right u are here talking like this because ur brother from the same families were not among the dead soldiers, okay come out and carry gun lead us lets go and divide the country if the same Nigerian soldiers no break ur head, is it not the same kano groundnut and Lagos cocoa they take build the refineries in the Niger Delta? where are the Niger Deltas then ?

  25. Evang Kola Adepoju

    Nigerian leaders can’t stop to amuse me- a bunch of heartless fella! Why on earth should a red carpet be laid for these bloody civilians while attending the burial of our gallant soldiers? Why Namadi Sambo of all officials of nigerian government should be allowed to be part of this exercise despite a widely circulated confession of one of the leaders of Boko Haram who disclosed that Namadi Sambo is privy to their activities?
    Adieu, physically strong but logistically weakened men of the Nigerian Armed Forces!

  26. Olalere

    I know they can’t be awaken back but to the family of the deceased who have worked with their blood as a sacrifice…Please Nigeria Govt….Pay Them What Belongs 2 Them With No Delay…Me And Jonathan Cant Fight Like This…They Are Trained To Fight Oppression and So many much…Please Give Them Their Dues.

    1. Chimex

      May their souls rest in perfect peace cos they fought 4 peace in this country.May God grant them peace Amen

  27. austin kai

    U have all fought a good fight.

    May God almighty help us all to gain eternity.

    We miss u all.

  28. kenneth Gurumlat

    we love you but God loves you most. it is rather unfortunate that you died serving your father’s land with love and strength and faith. may your labours never be in vain. rest in peace in the bossom of the Lord till we meet to part no more amen.

  29. Terwase

    They died gallantly in the service of Nigeria. May they rest in peace.

  30. Ajiboye charles

    May their gentle soul rest in peace.

  31. sega

    May their souls rest in peace.

  32. JOE JOE


  33. kingso

    may their souls rest in peace . Amen.

  34. Olu

    ..May your death not be in vain. You fought for the peace to rain and you paid the supreme price – your soul. The fallen Heroes Rest in peace. FG the family these ones left behind must not suffer. Please wipe away their tears. Boko Haram and their sponsors will never know peace throughout the time they stay upon this planet. Adieu, the Braved fallen Heroes

  35. Olu

    May your death not be in vain. You fought for the peace to rain and you paid the supreme price – your soul. The fallen Heroes Rest in peace. FG the family these ones left behind must not suffer. Please wipe away their tears. Boko Haram and their sponsors will never know peace throughout the time they stay upon this planet. Adieu, the Braved fallen Heroes


    Am full of compassion right now for the ones that lost their loved ones in the fight against terror.What has happen has happen,but i tell you we will put our hands together with the family of the lost ones to pray to ALLAH never to forgive those behind these terror in this our very country and those that take the action with their hands.

    And for those that lost their lives,we pray that their lives rest with the blossom the LORD and may LORD give the family the fortitude to bear the lost.

  37. Saint Michael

    Brave soldiers, you ve all fought well. Your ll never be in vain. My condolences to the families of our heroes.
    All those who are bent on destroying this nation, shall soon experience a swift destruction if they dont repent.

  38. tonysantos chino

    tears in my eye,each time i heard of boko haram,because d victims of their nefarious and inhuman act are innocent,may d soul of heroic soldiers rest in peace as they fought for d peace of nigerian,federal government should remember to reward d families of d soldier,adieu galants,brave soldiers

  39. Abdulgafar ayelade

    May they are soul rest in peace make almight ALLAH be with they are family and am beging our government to take good care of they are family and wipe away they are tear for them so that they can not deep of thinking about they are late person make almight ALLAH give u people power to do so

    1. Lukman

      Paul or wat ever you call urself u ar such a big full. Instead of uto pray for peace in our dear country u here wanting to creat problem. That person u ar insulting do the right thing by praying for the soldiers that lost thier lives for there beloved country, instead of u to do same for them u ar here saying rubish. An if i said God should punish any body that those not want peace in this country u will say i’m insulting u.

    2. Echo Simon Overcomer

      Pls be wise and stop talking like an educated lunatic.

  40. Olu

    May your death not be in vain. You fought for the peace to rain and you paid the supreme price – your soul. The fallen Heroes Rest in peace. FG the family these ones left behind must not suffer. Please wipe away their tears. Boko Haram and their sponsors will never know peace throughout the time they stay upon this planet. Adieu, the Braved fallen Heroes

  41. Oguamanam

    may their souls rest in peace.Amen.pls they died in the line of duty,what ever that is there right should be given to their wives to take care of their kids and govnt should see that their kids are well taking care off.that is the pain boko haram is causing this nation but God wil soon end it.

    1. tayo

      Amen ooo. Lord we are lookin upon u to chekmate all this people behind boko haram in dis naton

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