Another chapter in Nigeria’s chequered history took place on Saturday when the remains of Major – General Idris Alkali (N/8353) was laid to rest at Gudu Cemetery in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
The body of missing General Alkali was recovered on Wednesday, October 31, 2018, in a shallow grave found in “No man’s land” Guchwet in Shen, Lafande Community in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State after his wife raised the alarm of her missing husband on September 5, 2018.
Mrs. Salamatu Alkali had reported to the military authorities on September 5, 2018 that her husband left his home in Abuja to Bauchi on September 3, 2018, and that when she last spoke to him on his GSM number 09056890335, he claimed to have passed Jos and was on his way to Bauchi.
Report of the missing Major General Alkali, who retired from service on August 7, 2018, received immediate attention of the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, during the combined COAS 2nd, 3rd quarterly Conference held in Abuja. He immediately set up a Search and Rescue Task Force to locate General Alkali dead or alive.
The Search and Rescue Task Force Team comprising officers and soldiers from 3 Division of the Nigerian Army quick response team, Operation Safe Haven, Nigeria Police, Vehicle Inspection Office, Fire Service and local divers went on its task combing everywhere in Jos and environs but to no avail until it received credible intelligence to search an abandoned mining pond at Dura Due District.
That intelligence collaborated the findings of an appropriate technical intelligence tool that aligned with information by Mrs. Alkali that she spoke with her husband on his GSM number 09056890335.
We commend the Nigerian Army that despite the “cultural” obstacles and several insinuations that confronted the assignment to locate General Alkali, it finally achieved the objective of Search and Rescue Operation and did more by unearthing several revelations.
It is now clear even to doubting Thomases that the crises in Plateau need to be addressed from its root causes instead of surface dressing we employed any times ugly incidents such as this that takes innocent life occurred.
From the recoveries made at the abandoned mining pond at Dura Du where General Alkali car was eventually found, not less than nine other vehicles and several tricycles were pulled out.
This is a very sad development in a country where every citizen and foreigners alike enjoyed their right to freedom of movement.
We, therefore, join millions of Nigerians who have on several occasions called on the Federal Government to look into the security situation in the country and squarely address them.
Just like those consoling the death of Alkali at grave side stated on Saturday, “every Nigerian has the right to live or pass through any part of the country without being harassed or intimidated by anybody or group of people.”
This is a fundamental human and constitutional right of everybody, irrespective of tribe or religious affiliations.
The findings by the Nigerian Army revealed that on September 2, 2018 at about 8pm, unknown gunmen attacked a shopping complex located at Lafande community in Dura Du that resulted in the killing of 11 people.
That General Alkali travelled on September 2, 2018 on the day irate youths barricaded some roads in protest is instructive.
But there is need, more than ever before, for the Army to strictly enforce its rules and regulations on the use of it combat uniform, in view of lingering crises and the attendant suspicious that killings are being carried out by gunmen in military uniform.
For instance, the public expressed doubt and suspicious when a pair of boots, combat military uniform were recovered in mside the retired general car after he had retired from service. All military uniform except ceremonial address ought to be retrieved from retired officers and soldiers.
Now that the puzzle about the whereabouts of the missing General has been solved by the Nigerian Army, we sincerely commend the Nigerian Army for its investigative prowess and urge other security agencies, particularly the Nigeria Police whose primary role is investigation of crimes to emulate the worthy example of Nigerian Army.
The Nigeria Police must wake up and live up to expectations. Enough of unresolved killings in Nigeria.