Army Officer Mistakenly Shoots Self-Dead on Armed Forces Remembrance Day
The Nigerian Army says a soldier attached to the 35 artillery brigade in Abeokuta, Ogun state, accidentally shot himself dead on Armed Forces Remembrance Day.
The Armed Forces Remembrance Day was commemorated on Monday.
The soldier has been identified as Boyi Thankgod. He was a personnel of 353 artillery regiment, Ojo cantonment, Lagos.
He was detained for barracks standby duty at the brigade headquarters. He reportedly shot and killed himself at the standby duty shade.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Olabisi Ayeni, acting deputy director of army public relations, 81 division, denied reports that the soldier committed suicide over unpaid allowances.
“The attention of Headquarters 81 Division Nigerian Army ( NA) has been drawn to insinuations making the rounds on social media alleging that a soldier of 35 Artillery Brigade terminated his life due to non-payment of Ration Cash Allowance (RCA),” the statement reads.
“Having lost one of its soldiers, the authorities of the Division feel deeply concerned that some mischief makers under whatever guise would employ such a sad occurrence to malign the image of the Division and the NA in general.
“Nevertheless, for the sake of posterity, it needs to be mentioned that the late soldier was deployed at the Brigade Standby Force on Monday 15 January 24 alongside his colleagues for daily cantonment duty and they were adequately fed in line with NA’s standard for troops’ on duties.
“However, an investigation into the immediate cause of the incident indicated that the deceased soldier reportedly handled his personal weapon negligently and misfired, which resulted in his death.
“His colleagues who heard the sound of gunshot had rushed to the scene of the incident only to find the soldier in the pool of his blood with gunshot wounds on the head.”
Ayeni said further investigation has commenced to “unravel the circumstances and possible remote” cause of the incident.
He said the remains of the soldier had been evacuated and deposited at the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, adding that the family of the deceased had been informed of the “unfortunate” incident.
Ayeni said the division is committed to providing the necessary welfare required to boost the morale of troops under its command.
“Therefore, the Division will not under any guise take the welfare of its troops lightly as wrongly insinuated,” Ayeni added.