Soldiers at the Nigerian Army Brigade, Malam Fatori, Borno State, presently fighting the Boko Haram insurgency were thrown into mourning, yesterday, as a depressed soldier, who allegedly got information that someone was sleeping with his wife, turned his gun at seven of his colleagues and later shot himself. Four of those shot, including the corporal have been reported dead, while the rest are in critical condition.
The sad development happened as suspected members of the Islamic State of West Africa Province, ISWAP, abducted Mohammed Abba, head of the Civilian Joint Task Force, JTF, in Bambula community in Chibok Local Council of Borno State.
It was learnt that the insurgents attacked the community around 4a.m. Yesterday, when most of the residents were still asleep. This is even as President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday charged the military to re-examine strategies to defeat the ISWAP terrorists in the North-East because their presence in the West African Sahel region poses great danger not only to Nigeria but also the entire region.
Meanwhile, to tackle kidnapping and banditry, the Nasarawa State House of Assembly has passed a law to ensure judicial protection for witnesses.
How soldier shot self, colleagues Narrating how the soldier shot seven of his colleagues and himself, a source said: “I couldn’t help but voice this out. At about 0600hrs this morning (yesterday) at 118/119 BN MALAM FATORI,BORNO STATE, a Corporal fired seven soldiers and fired himself. “Two have been reported dead, while the rest are in critical condition. The soldier has been going through depression as a result of family issues; information got to him that someone has been sleeping with his wife while he is on operation. “Soldiers in this particular location spend almost one year before being given pass to visit their families. How do you leave a soldier in the war front for 9-12 months without him seeing his family? “Some soldiers’ children don’t even know their fathers. Many homes have been shattered, broken. Even with the directive from the Theatre Command that soldiers should be allowed to go on pass every three months, the Battalion Commander has refused to comply with such directives. The camp now is in great commotion. When will soldiers’ lives and welfare of families be valued?”
Army confirms incident Confirming the incident last night, Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa, said the Corporal serving in Operation Lafiya Dole, Army Super Camp 15, located at Malam Fatori, killed himself, two others and injured three in the process. He said: “Two of his colleagues were also injured during the incident and are currently in stable condition in our hospital in Maiduguri. “Efforts are ongoing to contact the families of our gallant colleagues who paid the supreme price in the line of duty. May their gentle souls rest in peace.
“Meanwhile, investigation into the case has since been instituted to determine the circumstances that led to the unfortunate incident.” Sources attributed the action of the Corporal to either depression or poor visibility, as the terrain where the incident occurred was poor in the early hours of the day. ISWAP attacks Chibok village, abducts head of civilian JTF, others.
The source said that Mohammed Abba, head of the civilian JTF in Bambula community in Chibok had been the insurgents’ target since he refused to get compromised. The head of the civilian JTF was abducted alongside many others who are yet to be identified. The civilian JTF is a vigilante group created to assist the military fight insurgency in the North-East.
“The sporadic gunshots woke us, and everybody started running to safety. The insurgents came in through Ajigum Talala, a part of the forest where ISWAP has a strong unit. “They headed straight to Abba and took him. They have been warning him before but Abba refused to cooperate with them. They abducted many others who couldn’t run. They also burnt down some properties including a vehicle belonging to the community head,” said a resident who managed to escape the attack. The attack came a week after the insurgents attacked Korongilum in Chibok, setting many houses on fire.