Troops of the Joint Task Force North West Operation HADARIN DAJI (OPHD) have gunned down a soldier identified as James Kingsley after he opened fire and killed one of his senior officers.
The officer killed by Kingsley – a Second Lieutenant – was identified as OC Ukachuckwu (N/19548)).
A military source who confirmed the tragic incident said it happened on Sunday at about 6:05 pm.
James was said to have gone berserk at the Forward Operational Base in Magami, Sokoto and opened fire, killing Ukachuckwu before he was killed by other soldiers.
Some of his colleagues were also injured during the incident.
They are currently in stable condition in the hospital.
A military signal exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters confirmed the incident.
The signal signed by Major MD Mikaailu read, “I TXT(.) SPECIAL SITREP (.) INCIDENT REPORT (.) AT ABOUT 041805HRS(.) WHILE ON STAND TO PERIOD 03NA/53/1572 CPL JAMES KINGSLEY FROM 26BN ATT TO TEAM 3 FOR OPHD FIRED 2LT OC UKACHUKWU (N/19548) AT TANGO 2 FOB MAGAMI (.) THE SLDRS WENT ON FIRING EVERYONE ON SIGHT(.) AND HE WAS GUNNED DOWN BY FELLOW SLDRS PRESENT AT THE TANGO(.) BOTH LATE OFFR AND SLDR WERE RUSHED TO MAGAMI GEN HOSP WHERE THE OFFR WAS CONFIRMED DEAD(.) SIT WITHIN OWN FOB IS UNDER CON (.) SY SIT REMAINS CC (.) OTHERWISE NTR (.)DETAIL LATER (.) PSE ACK///.”
There have been public concerns recently over the state of mental health of Nigerian soldiers, particularly the ones fighting terrorists in the North-East.
In March 2023, a soldier fighting Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East opened fire on his colleague and killed him.
The deceased soldier was identified as Private Diko.
According to military sources, the duo belonged to Operation Desert Sanity and joined the army in 2020.
The incident occurred in Ngoshe, Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno state.
“They were having an argument and before you know it, he killed him (Diko). Both being 20NA were posted to 103 battalion Enugu but were moved to Borno to fight the Boko Haram insurgency,” a military source had informed SaharaReporters.
Also in 2023, another soldier identified as Lance Corporal Nwobodo Chinoso, shot dead the Commander of the Forward Operating Base (FOB) Rabah in Sokoto State, Lt. Sam Oladapo.
Chinoso also shot the FOB Rabah Command Sergeant Major (CSM), Sgt. Iliyasu Inusa, and another private soldier, Attahiru Mohammed, after he had killed Oladapo.
After shooting his colleagues, he thereafter committed suicide by shooting himself.
SaharaReporters gathered that the incident happened less than four months after a soldier shot an aid worker and another soldier dead and injured a co-pilot of a United Nations helicopter in Borno State.
In March 2022, Yahaya Ibrahim, a soldier fighting Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East opened fire on his colleague, Abubakar Mohammed.
Ibrahim with army number 18NA/77/0725 was said to have suddenly cocked his rifle and shot Mohammed (96NA/ 42/4975) in the shoulder from behind.
In April 2021, Kila Jima, a corporal in the Army’s 152 Battalion, Banki, Borno State killed himself.
In March 2021, a soldier, Bello Useni, with the Nigerian Army School of Armour in Bauchi killed himself.
In September 2020, a lance corporal attached to the Army’s 27 Task Force Brigade in Buni Gari, Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe state, committed suicide at his duty post.
In July 2020, a soldier in the Army’s 202 battalion in Bama, Borno State, killed a lieutenant who did not give him a pass to visit his family.
In 2019, a soldier hanged himself in Abuja. And in 2017, another soldier committed suicide after killing his superior officer.
The recurring nature of such cases has raised concerns about whether soldiers fighting Boko Haram are receiving adequate mental and psychological treatment.
Some of the soldiers have in the past complained about poor welfare, overstaying in the region and abysmal treatment by the military hierarchy.
They said they were battling with depression and post-traumatic disorder because the authorities refused to rotate them.