A soldier of the Nigerian army’s 202 battalion in Bama, Borno state, has killed a lieutenant who did not give him a pass to visit his family, sources have told TheCable.
A pass is a written permission to be away from one’s military unit for a limited period of time, and with the army’s Operation Lafiya Dole, it could be for seven, 10 or 14 days.
The soldier had requested a pass to visit his family over an urgent matter, and when he was turned down on Wednesday, he fired shots at the lieutenant who is the battalion’s adjutant responsible for administrative matters.
“The soldier joined the army in the 2016 intake and had since been deployed to fight Boko Haram in the north-east. This time, he had been in duty post for almost 12 months and he wanted that pass by all means,” a military source in Bama told TheCable.
“Normally, you apply for a pass by filling the form and then you submit to the adjutant who is the battalion administrative officer. It is the adjutant that will now make recommendations and forward to the commanding officer for approval.
“The soldier was denied the pass by the adjutant, and that was when he got angry and decided to kill him. He opened 36 rounds on the officer, killing him instantly.”
Another source said the soldier was due for a pass having spent more than the required three months which makes him eligible.
“You can apply for a pass after three months, but the problem we have in this operation is that the superiors will be telling you that we don’t have enough manpower. So, a lot of soldiers are always denied pass,” he said.
He added that the pass is only given when the soldier has to attend to critical matters like loss of parents or loved ones.
A military commander had on Tuesday also admitted that they have limited manpower to fight.
When contacted, Sagir Musa, army’s spokesperson, said he would get on the matter and share details at an appropriate time.