By Luka Binniyat
KADUNA – Hon. Danladi Angulu Kwasu, a retired Wing Commander, with the Nigeria Air Force, at a Press Conference in Kaduna yesterday accused the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA, of deliberating pushing his 19- year -old son, Elshadai Kwasu, (NDA/10037) , into a 100 metre-deep lake, and drowning him during a training .
Kwasua, now a member of Kaduna State House of Assembly, KDHA, representing Zangon Kataf State constituency, alleged that out of negligence, about 20 cadets had died in swimming exercise with the NDA doing nothing to change the situation.
When contacted, the Commandant of NDA, Major General Mohammed Inua Idris, said the NDA would only state its side of the story.
Kwasu said: “My son died on April 30, 2015, as a result of drowning, occasioned by gross negligence. The NDA carried them for a camping exercise (Camp Highland). In the course of the exercise, the NDA staff pushed him into the water of Kangimi dam (the outskirt of Kaduna) at the deepest part of the dam.
“ He was pushed into this deep water from a platform that was very high above the water. The NDA only tied a rope loosely around his waist with somebody else standing on the platform above the water and holding unto the other end of the rope.
“Before my son was pushed into the water, he expressed to his colleagues his reservations on the idea of using a rope as a safety measure since he had never swam in his life before. The NDA staff overheard him. While he was standing on the platform, the same NDA staff suddenly pushed him off the platform into the water.
“In the process of pushing him, the loose rope round his waist was further loosened.”
“When my son disappeared into the water, the NDA staff watched helplessly as there was no safety measure in place. None of the trainers could swim or dive to rescue my son. There was no life jacket, no lifeguard or diver that could go into the water to save the boy. The NDA running out of ideas on what to do, then called in local fishermen to use their fishhooks to search for my son inside the water”, he said.
According to him, the fishermen used long fishing lines with big hooks and his son was accidentally hooked from his mouth and his corpse brought to the surface after three hours.
I am compelled to speak out because all my efforts for the NDA to show me the video of the incidence and officially brief me on the circumstances that led to the death of my son have been to no avail.
“I will not keep quiet in the face of this kind of impunity. I will take all steps at my disposal to address this impunity and incompetence as displayed by the NDA authority”.