A Nigerian Army officer was hospitalised after coming under attack from a group of bandits last week, PREMIUM TIMES learnt from military sources.
The attack on RU Mairiga occurred while he was travelling along Kaduna-Zaria Highway at about 11:00 p.m. on January 14, sources said. The bandits’ bullets hit him on the right hand and by the right ribs.
The lieutenant-colonel is the commanding officer of the Nigerian Army Infantry Corps Centre Record Office in Jaji. His office is responsible for proposing the posting and appointment of all Infantry personnel for confirmation by the military secretary’s office.
He was hospitalised at a medical centre run by the Nigerian Army 1 Division in Kaduna, where he has reportedly been recovering tremendously, sources said.
Mr Mairiga’s attackers appeared to be the same set of bandits who opened fire on the convoy of the Emir of Potiskum, killing at least 30 people and wounding many. About 100 were feared kidnapped in the attack, according to security report. Umar Bubaram, the emir, survived the attack, but lost four of his drivers.
Official police report said six people were killed and five wounded when the bandits attacked the emir’s convoy and other commuters around Maraban Jos interchange along Kaduna Zaria Highway. The attack near the massive military camp in Jaji was close to where gunmen opened fire on Mr Mairiga, military sources said.
PREMIUM TIMES could not immediately confirm whether or not the officer had been discharged from the hospital. An army spokesperson, Sagir Musa, declined repeated calls and text messages seeking comments. Kaduna police spokesperson, Sabo Abubakar, said he was not aware of the attack on the commanding officer.
In recent years, the highway has been the scene of deadly armed bandit attacks against travellers and villagers living on its fringes, ranking it amongst a growing list of notorious spots across the country. The violence inflicted on the army chief and a prominent emir underscored how Nigerians of all classes are vulnerable to the country’s perennial insecurity.
The past year has seen the abduction of top government officials or their families, top academics, traditional rulers, judges, alongside thousands of ordinary citizens who fell victim to kidnap-for-ransom syndicates. Some abductees were killed before they could be rescued.