The Nigerian Army 81 Division, on Wednesday, denied that its operative, Boyi ThankGod, attached to 35 Artillery Brigade, Alamala, Abeokuta, Ogun State, shot himself dead but rather died of negligence, having mishandled his firearms.
ThankGod was said to be on barracks standby duty at the 35 Brigade headquarters, Alamala, Abeokuta, on Monday during the Armed Forces Remembrance Day when he allegedly shot himself in the head and died immediately.
A source had told journalists that the soldier killed himself due to depression and low morale in the system.
His friends were also quoted to have said that the soldier had already shown a loss of interest in the Army job and complained of corruption in the military and low morale.
But the military, in a statement on Wednesday by the acting Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 81 Division of Nigeria Army, Lieutenant Colonel Olabisi Ayeni, described the reports as insinuations and misrepresentations of the incident.
Ayeni also debunked the reports circulating on various social media platforms that ThankGod terminated his life due to non-payment of Ration Cash Allowance.
The statement partly read, “The attention of Headquarters 81 Division Nigerian Army has been drawn to insinuations making the rounds on social media alleging that a soldier of 35 Artillery Brigade terminated his life due to nonpayment of Ration Cash Allowance.
“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, January 15, 2024, alongside his colleagues for daily cantonment duty, and they were adequately fed in line with NA’s standard for troops’ on duties.
“However, the 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 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.
“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.” (Punch)