Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was conspicuously absent at the funeral service of the nation’s Army General, reportedly a Christian by faith, who was butchered along with 7 other patriots by Islamist militants in Askira-Uba in Borno State, Northeast of Nigeria.
The ceremony in honour of Brig. Gen. Dzarma Zurkushu and 7 others, which took place at Gibson Jalo Military Cantonment, Yola on Saturday November 26, 2021, had Adamawa State Governor Umaru Ahmadu Fintiri and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha, who purportedly represented President Buhari.
In his speech, SGF Mustapha, himself a Christian from the same community with Brig. Gen. Zurkushu, reported the absent president as expressing “sadness over the demise of Brig. Gen. Zurkushu and the 7 other patriots, who paid the supreme price with their lives in defence of Askira-Uba during an attack in Borno State earlier in the month.”
“He also expressed gratitude for the gallantry exhibited by the deceased in defence of the country. He prayed God to continue to condole their families and grant them the fortitude to bear the loss,” SGF Mustapha added.
In appreciation for dedicated service to fatherland and humanity by the deceased officers and soldiers, Gov. Fintiri renamed the popular Lagos Street in Yola after the late Brig. Gen. Dzarma Zurkushu. This is aside the donation of the sum of 10 Million Naira to the family of late Brig Gen Zurkushu and another 17 Million Naira to the families of six other fallen heroes.
Gov. Fintiri, who described the late General as thorough professional, gentle and dedicated to duty, also ordered the hoisting of national flag in the state at half mast for 3 days in honour of the fallen heroes.
In his remarks earlier at the well attended ceremony, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. Faruk Yahaya, who presented the national flags to the Next of Kins of the late senior officers and soldiers prayed God to comfort their families. He assured the families left behind, that the Army would promptly process the emoluments of the fallen heroes in addition to offer of educational scholarship to their children.
The COAS expressed appreciation to the absent President and other sympathisers, who attended the funeral to pay their last respect to the patriots.
Prior to the final interments, service and prayers were held at St Stephen’s Military Church (Prot) and the Central Mosque both at Gibson Jalo Cantonment, where prayers were offered for the repose of the souls of the deceased.