By Abiodun OBA
The Nigerian Army has dismissed the claim that a soldier identified as Gnr Boyi ThankGod attached to the 35 Artillery Brigade command killed himself because he was not paid Ration Cash Allowance, RCA.
Boyi ThankGod with identity 23NA84 reportedly shot himself dead at 35 Artillery Brigade command, Abeokuta Ogun State where he was deployed to be on Standby Force on 15, January.
There have been speculations, especially on social media that the soldier killed himself because he was not paid his RCA.
The Headquarters of 81 Division in a statement issued to newsmen in Ogun by the Acting Deputy Director of Army Public Relations, Lieutenant Olabisi Olalekan Ayeni dismissed. Rather, he said ThankGod negligently misfired himself on duty.
“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).
“Having lost one of its soldiers, the authorities of the Division feel deeply concerned that some mischief makers under whatever guise would employ such 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, 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 a gunshot rushed to the scene of the incident, only to find the soldier in the pool of his blood with gunshot wounds on the head.
“Further investigation has since commenced to unravel the circumstances and possible remote cause of the unfortunate incident, while the remains of the soldier have been evacuated and deposited at the Federal Medical Centre Abeokuta.
“The Division, through the Commander 35 Artillery Brigade, has informed the deceased family and also expressed heartfelt condolences and sympathy over the unfortunate incident.
“It is, however, pertinent to reiterate that the Division is committed to providing the necessary welfare required to boost the morale of troops under command in line with the Chief of Army Staff Command Philosophy. Therefore, the Division will not under any guise take the welfare of its troops lightly as wrongly insinuated.”
Earlier, it was alleged that a source said the late soldier had complained about his unpaid allowances and showed signs of depression before he took his life on Monday.
He said, “The Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration, which took place on Monday turned out to be a very unpleasant and sorrowful day for the 35 Artillery brigade, as a young soldier identified as Boyi Thankgod, killed himself.
“He was attached to headquarters 35 Artillery brigade Abeokuta, Ogun State, and was detailed for barracks standby duty at the brigade headquarters”.
“He killed himself due to depression and low morale in the system”.
“His friends said he already showed loss of interest in the army job, complained of corruption in the military and low morale.”
“We are just waiting for the military police officers to conclude the investigation to determine what led to the incident”, he said.