Soldiers at the Nigerian Army Brigade, Malam Fatori, Borno State, currently fighting the Boko Haram insurgency were thrown into mourning, on Wednesday, as a depressed soldier, who allegedly got information that someone was sleeping with his wife, turned his gun on seven of his colleagues and later shot himself.
Two of those shot 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.
Narrating how the soldier shot seven of his colleagues and himself, a source said: “I couldn’t help but voice this out. At about 6a.m., this morning (Wednesday) 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 duty.
“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 nine to 12 months without him seeing his family?
“Some soldiers’ children don’t even know their fathers. Many homes have been shattered and broken.
“The Battalion Commander has refused to comply with directive of the Theatre Command that soldiers should be allowed to go on pass every three months.
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.”
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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.