From General Ahmed to Air Chief Marshal Badeh; top military officers killed by unknown gunmen
Nigeria continues to grapple with the reign of terror that pervades the nation space. Unknown gunmen, bandits, arms-bearing herdsmen and Boko Haram fighters are heightening insecurity around the country with their deadly attacks on citizens.
Though Buhari regime and its security forces repeatedly assure that it was putting the gory situation under control and even sometimes claiming victory, the situation seems to be worsening as the days go by.
A report by the Institute for Economics & Peace ‘Global Peace Index 2021: Measuring Peace in a Complex World, Sydney, June 2021,’ said Nigeria lost $40.6 billion alone to insecurity in 2020 as unknown gunmen, killer herdsmen, bandits, Boko Haram, and ISWAP terrorists combined to unleash what many considered unprecedented violence on Africa’s most populous nation last year.
Instructively, the criminals have not limited their onslaught on ordinary Nigerians, security operatives saddled with the task of protecting lives and properties are equally not safe. Many security operatives, on the front lines or not, have been targeted for elimination by the brigands.
Findings by Daily Trust showed that no fewer than 183 personnel of the Nigerian military were killed either by bandits, hoodlums, gunmen, Boko Haram terrorists, cultists, armed robbers,between January and June, 2021 – in the line of their duties.
Worst still, senior military officers have been felled randomly by attackers.
Peoples Gazette provides a listicle of senior military officers that have been killed under unravelled circumstances like common civilians by unknown gunmen that have come to be known by the sobriquet UGM.
Major-General Hassan Ahmed
The one-time Provost Marshal of the Nigerian Army was murdered after his vehicle was attacked by gunmen along the Abuja-Lokoja highway on July 15.
Just like many other senior officers, Mr Ahmed was gruesomely murdered in his vehicle when coming from Okene, Kogi State. His sister, Safina Ahmed was also kidnapped during the incident.
He was buried according to Islamic rites on July 16 at the Lungi Barracks Cemetery in Abuja.
The senior officer was born on February 16, 1968 in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, where he hails from.
He received several awards and medals, including the Forces Service Star, Meritorious Service Star, Distinguished Service Star, Field Command Medal and Fellow Defence College among others.
Major MS Samaila
On July 4, the acting Commanding Officer of 196 Battalion, Major MS Samaila, was shot dead in Dundubus, Jigawa State, while on his way to Kano from Maiduguri with his orderly, Alisu Aliyu, a signal by the Nigerian Army had said.
“At about 042330A Jul 21, One Maj MS Samaila, Acting Commanding Officer 196Bn on his way to Kano from Maiduguri with his orderly 20NA/79/4559 LCpl Alisu Aliyu were attacked by Armed Robbers at Dundubus,” the army stated.
Major J.F. London
The top military personnel officer was killed in Zamfara State, in an ambush set up for Nigerian soldiers at Janbako town in the Maradun Local Government Area of the state.
The source said the attackers came in a Hilux vehicle and motorcycles given to repentant bandits by Governor Bello Matawalle.
Two other soldiers were also injured during the attack, while the officers were said to be on their way to restore peace at Janboko after bandits invaded the community.
Colonel SB Onifade
Last year in October, military sources told The Gazette that the Nigerian Army colonel was abducted by gunmen, after running into an ambush along Abuja-Kaduna Highway.
Mr Onifade, who was not in a military uniform, was on a road trip at about 3:00 a.m. on September 27 when he was abducted. A few days later, it was reported that the officer was killed by his abductors despite payment of N10 million ransom.
Major General Idris Alkali
On September 2, 2018, unknown gunmen attacked a shopping complex located at Lafande Community on the outskirts of Jos metropolis in Dura-Du District of Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State.
As a result of the attack, 11 people were killed while others sustained various degrees of injuries.
Mr Alkali was travelling from Abuja to Bauchi via Jos the same day in his black Toyota Corolla car with registration number, KWARA MUN 670 AA.
The senior officer was assaulted and killed.
His belongings such as clothings, cash, phones and laptop were shared by those who killed him. His body was dragged before being moved to somewhere else and his car was driven and pushed into the abandoned mining pit filled with water.
Colonel Mohammed Barack
The Garrison Commander, 33 Artillery Brigade of Nigerian Army in Shadawanka Barracks, Bauchi, was shot dead by suspected gunmen in 2019.
The late colonel and Kaduna indigene was said to be riding a power bike along Jos Road from Kaduna when he was shot.
The spokesperson for 33 Artillery Brigade, Major Yahaya Nasir Kabara, confirmed the incident.
Colonel Samaila Inusa
On March 29, 2016, the Nigerian Army announced the death of Mr Inusa who was kidnapped on Sunday March 27, 2016.
Before his body was found, the military issued a statement, offering a bounty of N1 million to anyone that would give information that could lead to the rescue of the Colonel.
His body was later found decomposing around Ajyaita village off Eastern Bypass Kaduna, Kaduna State.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that most likely the late senior officer was killed the same day he was kidnapped by his abductors. This is because the body was found already decomposing,” the army said in a statement by the acting director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman.
Colonel Inusa was the Commander, 81 Battalion located in Bulabulin, Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State.
Colonel MZ Manu
Mr Manu was killed by gunmen who shot two other soldiers and civilians in Unguwar Doka Village under Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State.
Reports said they were on routine patrol when they ran into an ambush by the bandits, which led to his death.
The men, armed with AK-47 rifles, were said to have invaded the village on motorcycles before launching the deadly attack.
Dahiru Chiroma Bako
The Colonel was serving as the commander of Sector 2 of Operation Lafiya Dole fighting against the Boko Haram insurgents. He was referred to as Sarkin Yaki by colleagues and all those that worked with him.
He died at a military hospital in Maiduguri following an injury sustained in an ambush in September 2020.
The colonel served for almost 10 years in the North East which spans from 2012 to 2020. The officer was known for his bravery in Yobe and the troubled Timbuktu Triangle.
Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh
The 15th Chief of Defence Staff died after he sustained injuries from gunshots by unknown gunmen in his Toyota Tundra truck with registration number MUB 396 AA.
He died on December 18, 2018 at a location in Gitata community on Keffi-Bade road, Nasarawa State.
Reports said he was coming from his farm between Koso and Kugwaru communities when he was shot.
The truck windscreen was pierced by bullets, its windows shattered, its bonnet ridden with bullets. The front tyre of the passenger side was blown out.
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