AN amorous relationship that went awry between two personnel of the Nigeria Air Force, NAF, at the Air Tactical Command, Makurdi, Benue State capital , brought to the fore the need for a rethink of such relations among armed security men and women across the country.
The measure is imperative given the extent an aggrieved party in possession of firearms can go to settle scores. Such an unanticipated scenario played out on Sunday, March 12,2017, when a jealous Aircraft Man(ACM) in a fit of blind rage shot and killed his colleague- lover, an Aircraft Woman(ACW) whom he found in bed with a civilian boyfriend.
The love affair turned tragic when the Air Force man showed up at the latter’s residence at 6a.m. after a night duty. Apparently enraged, he fatally shot her with his service pistol, while the civilian narrowly escaped. The Air Force Woman, Solape Oladipupo, who celebrated her birthday exactly two weeks before the incident , died at the Benue State Teaching Hospital. The assailant, B. A. Kalu, owned up to the crime and he is in NAF’s custody . Expectedly, he would be dismissed from the Force after facing a disciplinary panel before he is handed over to the police as a civilian for prosecution.
The right to life is constitutionally guaranteed and nobody is allowed to take the life of another person except under circumstances prescribed by the law. No matter the provocation, it is legally unjustifiable to deprive somebody of his or her life over a love affair. The relationship between the two Air Force personnel was friendship. The extreme violent reaction would probably be understandable, but not excusable if they were married. It is reprehensible to exercise such a savage moral authority over a colleague’s love life no matter the level of emotional commitment .
However, our military personnel and other security agents are humans with feelings. Since there is likelihood of emotion beclouding rational behaviour, especially where romantic relationships exist, it is dangerous for armed personnel to be intimately involved with one another. Individuals who feel cheated on or jilted can constitute threats to the lives of others. Military and other security services are calls to national duties , their barracks are not love zones. Those who seek love should do so elsewhere for the sake of their safety and sanity.
We commend the move by Air Force authorities to investigate the circumstances that led to the incident to prevent a re-occurrence. We also applaud the decision to carry out a psychiatric test on the culprit to determine whether he acted under the influence of drugs. We call on the NAF to go beyond this. We urge all security forces to outlaw romantic relationships among their rank and file as it is the case in some advanced countries.