A Nigerian soldier, Daniel Ekpo, a Sergeant in the Nigeria Army, has alleged neglect by the Army authorities after he lost legs to an effort to quell the activities of insurgents in the North Eastern part of the country.
In a letter written to OrijoReporter, Ekpo accused the Army authorities at the 1070 Division, Workshop, in Maiduguri, North East Nigeria, of wrongly deploying him to do a job he was not trained to do, which consequently led to his present ordeal.
According to him, “I was a Staff Sergeant under the command of 1 Base Workshop, MAEME, Yaba, Lagos. I was redeployed to 1070 Division, Maiduguri, North East zone, Nigeria, to fight the menace of insurgency that is encroaching the territorial integrity of this country, code named “Operation Lafia Dole on 16 September 2013 as a Light Aid Detachment.
“I was discharging my duty as required to my father land until 9th January, 2015 when Damaturu, the capital of Yobe State was on attack. Immediately, we were called upon as a Quick Response Force from Maiduguri to assist the troop there in Damaturu and I was used as Armoured Personnel Carrier (MOWAC APC) driver for the task. I spent four months in Damaturu for the operation.
“On the 2nd April, 2015, we went for an attack against the Boko Haram in Alagarno, in Borno State, and on the 15th, while on logistic patrol from same Damaturu to Alagarno, where we have already captured the insurgents, my APC entered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) which blasted my tank and in the process, I lost my left leg which was cut off, and I also lost the heel of my right leg foot, called calcareous bone,” he stated.
Describing his predicament as an offshoot of wrong assignment by his superiors, Ekpo said: “I sustain this injury as a result of wrong deployment. My Commander, Col Dimlong, and my Production Officer, Major Obembe, ordered that I drive the tank to Damaturu, Yobe State, while I am not a trained driver,” he quipped.
Ekpo, who hails from Umuana Ibeku, in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State, expressed disappointment over the manner with which his case is being treated by his superiors whom he claimed have not shown any sign of concern since the incident occurred.
“Ever since I sustained the injury, none of my Corps Officers at the operational place visited me to know how I am faring,” he lamented.
Ekpo, who is currently wriggling in excruciating pain from the injuries sustained, called for assistance of the Nigeria Army authorities as well as other well-meaning Nigerians, to come to his aids, in the pursuit of securing artificial legs so that he can walk again while the former duly compensate him.
By Gboyega Adeoye