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I Thought My Son’ll Wipe Away My Tears, But See How A Soldier Killed Him –Mother



Extra judicial killing

Mrs. Ulam Gyang, 46, is bitter and angry, she was recently bereaved, her son, Kenneth Gyang, was killed by a Military personnel in Jos, according to her, she was counting on her son after the death of her husband, unfortunately, the boy who was the breadwinner of the family has been killed in a gruesome manner by an overzealous soldier, who also injured several others.

The deceased mother, Mrs. Gyang, described the death of her son as an unfortunate thing to her and his siblings who will miss him dearly because of his generosity to them and everyone who came across him while alive. The bereaved mother who spoke with our correspondent in tears–laden voice said Kenneth had finished his secondary school and was working hard to further his studies, adding that he was very supportive to her and takes good care of his siblings, “Now I don’t know what to do and where to turn to for help, except God Almighty.

Who will help me with my farm work. I miss him.” It was learnt that the soldier who is attached to Operation Safe Haven was at a checkpoint when some youths were returning from the mortuary on Monday May 5, with others escorting a corpse of their relative for burial when he suddenly opened fire at Vwei (Mararab-Jama’a) of Kuru District, Jos South Local Government Area of the state over a minor issue on bike.

It was in the process of the altercation with the bike riders that stray bullet from his service rifle hit Kenneth on the chest, while one Emmanuel Daniel, 38, was also hit by the bullet, and sustained severe injuries on his body. When our correspondent visited the bereaved mother, sympathisers thronged her house to console and grieve with her over the loss of her son.

Mother demands justice

The widow said she doesn’t want her son to die in vain, she is demanding justice for Kenneth who was the third child of the four children of the family, but always supporting her financially and helping her on the farm. She said: “My Husband died in 2010, he was a Police officer and since then life has not been easy for us, I was hoping Kenneth will wipe my tears away, but now he has been killed, he was indeed the breadwinner of the family, he had finished his secondary and was working hard to further his studies, but always supporting me to take care of his siblings, now I don’t know what to do.

I want justice, I don’t want him to die in vain. Now! Who will help me on the farm?” She weeps. “Being a widow has been challenging moment for me, but Kenneth and other children were beginning to wipe my tears away over the sudden death of their father, now Kenneth has been killed, who do I call or turn to for help?” One of the victims who was also hit by a stray bullet from the Military Personnel is currently receiving treatment at an undisclosed private hospital in the state.

Daniel who spoke with our correspondent on his sick bed said the accident was an avoidable one, but the soldier was overzealous with the corpse they were escorting. “When we passed through the checkpoint in the morning there was no problem, but when we were returning from the mortuary with the corpse later in the day, suddenly the soldier was asking those on motorcycles to drop, when those on bikes refused to drop that was how altercation started between the soldier and the bike riders.

When I noticed it was getting out of hand I alighted from my bike immediately, before I knew what was happening I felt something hit me on my left leg. “That was the last thing I knew that happened to me, I only found myself in the hospital the following day where I was receiving treatment from the bullet wound. I want the soldier arrested and prosecuted for the act. Because he is supposed to be protecting us, instead of killing innocent young boys, I want him punished.”

Berom Youths condemn the act

Meanwhile, the Berom Youths’ Moulder-Association (BYM) has condemned the soldier’s act and also expressed sadness over the killing of Kenneth in that manner and also injuring some other people. While condemning the act, National Publicity Secretary of the group, Mr. Rwang Tengong condemned the act and said the victims were in the procession from mortuary for a burial of a relation at Kuru Community in Jos South LGA.

“On approaching the OPSH check- point, the Military Personnel pointed a rifle at the mourners, that they must all come down from their bikes and push their motorcycles through the checkpoint. When the mourners asked him the rationale behind the unusual confrontation and unilateral order, surprisingly, the officer was unprovoked and opened a direct shot at the victims, leaving one dead and another injured, despite being told that it was a funeral procession that was passing through their checkpoint.

“What is also baffling to me at the funeral procession was that we have never had such confrontation or prohibition, either by order or convention from the security agents at this or any other checkpoint in Jos and its environs. I am still baffled by the arbitrary killing of an innocent Kenneth, a promising young man who had his precious life terminated by an officer that ought to have guaranteed the safety of the lives and property of Nigerians whose tax money is used for payment of security agents. Worthy of mention here is that some security agents stationed there registered their implied displeasure over what the officer did.

“Another unfortunate development is the destruction/burgling of homes, Church Auditorium, shops and property of people around the Mararaba-Jama’a after the tragedy. “Also of concern are unguided and threatening statements by officers as disclosed by members of the community that they will return for them in the night. “The youth body therefore condemns the ugly incident believed to have been premeditated by the said officer who should immediately be handed over to the Police Force for preliminary investigation.

“Equally, we unambiguously call for the constitution of an independent “Panel of Inquiry” to immediately investigate openly the incident, and also be briefed on every level of the investigation for justice. Where the erring security agent is found culpable, he should be prosecuted accordingly.” Similarly, the BYM called for the immediate payment of #100,0000,000 (Hundred Million Naira) only as compensation for the precious lives lost, #10,000,000 (Ten Million Naira) only for the injured person and One Hundred Million Naira (100,000,000.00) compensation for properties destroyed.

“For the records, we are not unaware of the accompanying threats posed to the residents of Kuru, especially Vwei- Mararana Jama’a that there will be an invasion either this night or anytime soon. Should there therefore be any attack carried on community in Kuru District or any part thereof, either now or in the future, the officer that perpetrated the shootings as well as those that were stationed at the checkpoint will be held responsible as we will not take this lightly.

“We call on our people to be calm and remain law-abiding as we will legally follow the development to its letter to ensure justice is served. “This does not take away our commendations and confidence in Sector 6 Commander, Col. Williams Ubi for his prompt response to distress calls whenever duties demand him.”

An order for suspect’s arrest

Also, condemning the act was the Governor of Plateau State, Barr. Caleb Manasseh Mutfwang, who has condemned the unfortunate incident involving security personnel and a funeral procession that culminated in the loss of one person at Mararaban Jama’a, in Jos South Local Government Area of the state. Governor Mutfwang in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Gyang Bere described the incident as an unfortunate one and appealed for calm.

He condemned the action of the security officer who pulled the trigger that led to the death of the young man and called on relevant authorities to investigate the matter and bring the culprit to book. The Governor said for a new and united Plateau to be built, there must be mutual understanding and trust between citizens and security agencies. While consoling with the family of the bereaved, Mutfwang said any action that would further compound the condition of the already traumatised citizens would be resisted.

However, Secretary to the Government of the State, Arch. Samuel Nanchang Jatau who addressed protesting women and youths at the scene of the incident, assured them of the government’s determination to address the issues. He said: “Government has taken responsibility for the burial of the deceased and the medical bill of the injured persons who were wounded as a result of the incident, we appeal to the people of the state to remain calm and allow the government to take necessary action.”

Source: New Telegraph