BY recovering the remains of the late retired Major General Idris Alkali in Lafande community in Jos, Plateau State, the Nigerian Army successfully carried out a grim mission to find one of its officers who disappeared on September 3, 2018, on his way from Abuja to Bauchi through Jos.
The sad story can now be pieced together. Pending any other conclusion that could be drawn by the investigating team based on intelligence at its disposal, it is safe to assume that the recently retired Chief of Administration of the Nigerian Army was possibly a victim of circumstance.
According to a press briefing by the General Officer Commanding the Army’s 3rd Armoured Division Jos, Major General Benson Akinroluyo, Alkali had run into an irate mob protesting gunmen’s attack on a shopping complex in Lafande community in Dura-Du area of Jos, with 11 people killed.
Apparently, the mob killed him when he introduced himself as a military officer. They shared his belongings, disposed of his car in a disused mine filled with water and buried his body in a shallow grave.
They later retrieved the body from the grave and dumped it in a well in another location within the area, where the military search team constituted by Army Chief, Lt-General Yusuf Buratai, found and took it away for proper military burial.
We commend the Nigerian Army for the painstaking job it did in the best possible professional tradition. By so doing, the Army lived up to its promise of avoiding the terror tactics of destroying surrounding communities and massacring people indiscriminately when similar ugly incidents took place, as in Odi (Bayelsa State), Zaki-Biam (Benue State) and the handling of Biafra agitators and Shi’ite protesters.
This is obviously a great triumph of intelligence which rarely fails. Now, with the recovery of the body, nothing stops the law enforcement agencies from pursuing those directly implicated in the murder of General Alkali according to the laws of our country to ensure they pay appropriate prices. This should also be done without undue sentiments.
The Federal Government and the armed forces should work harder in the various theatres of security challenges in the country.
The armed and security forces belong to Nigerians. Everything should be done to restore the people’s full confidence in their armed forces.