By: Okosun Dennis
Tragedy struck at the Forward Operations Base (FOB), Rabbah Sokoto state on Sunday evening when a Lance Corporal of the Nigerian Army shot the FOB Commander, Lt T.I Sam-Oladapo dead.
Before the soldier turned the gun against himself and , the soldier identified as Lance Corporal Nwobodo Chinoso, also killed the CSM Staff Sergeant Iliyasu Inusa and Private Attahiru Mohammed.
Although there is no available information about the soldier’s mental health prior to the shooting, it was learnt that the soldier committed the act about 5pm on Sunday.
Before his death, he was a personnel of 223 Battalion, Zuru before being attached to 26 Battalion and later deployed to FOB Rabbah, Sokoto state.
In his reaction, the Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu said the Nigerian Army has instituted investigations into the unfortunate incident of the soldier, who killed his colleagues and himself at Forward Operations Base (FOB) Rabbah, Sokoto State.
Explaining how the incident took place, the spokesperson added that “the rare incident occured in the evening of Sunday, 5 March 2023, at the FOB, where troops were deployed for Internal Security Operations.
“The circumstances leading to the incident could not be immediately ascertained, as the soldier who killed his colleagues also shot himself immediately, terminating his own life.
Meanwhile, it was disclosed that the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 8 Division Nigerian Army, who also doubles as the Commander Joint Task Force Northwest Operation Hadarin Daji, Major General Godwin Mutkut, the Garrison Commander and the Commanding Officer, 26 Battalion and other senior officers have visited the location and commiserated with troops for loosing their colleagues in such an unfortunate situation.
While urging them to be their brother’s keepers and report any anomaly observed amongst their colleagues in order to forestall such incidents, he encouraged them to remain calm and committed in the discharge of their duties.
Brig Gen Nwachukwu added that the authorities of the Nigerian Army are deeply concerned about this unusual and ugly development and have therefore instituted a Board of Inquiry (BOI) to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident. It is envisaged that the findings of the BOI will help forestall such ugly and bizarre occurrence in the future.
Incidences of soldiers shooting colleagues death, even though limited in the force, is not particularly new to the Nigerian Army
It would be recalled that on 29th July, 2020, a Private soldier attached to 202 Battalion of the 21 Special Armoured Brigade in Bama, Borno state shot his superior officer, Lieutenant Babakaka Shehu Ngorgi dead.
Ngorgi, who was the Administration Officer (AO) of the battalion was shot dead over some disagreements in the previous day which bothered on the issue of Pass (casual leave) and unpaid allowances.