On the eve of the New Year when millions of people across the world prepared to usher in 2020 with renewed vigour, the atmosphere was solemn in the home of Abdulazeez Musa, an official of the Nigerian Army.
That day, the army broke the news of the killing of the 35-year-old soldier by Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State to the family.
It was learnt that Musa, with the service number 14NA/71/1222, was in Supply and Transport unit of the army.
Before they received the sad news, City Round learnt that the family had lost communication with him since December 2018, a development that threw his wife and four-year-old daughter into confusion.
The family’s apprehension was heightened by the attack on 157 Battalion in Metele in northern Borno on November 18, 2018 when scores of soldiers were killed by terrorists.
The army reportedly denied deaths of over 100 soldiers in the attack and only confirmed 23 casualties.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, in a release signed by Brig Gen Sani Usman, also confirmed that 12 soldiers were killed at Kukawa, Ngoshe, Kareto and Gajiram, all in Borno State, when the troops came under Boko Haram attacks from November 2 to 17, 2018.
In the wake of the attacks, Musa’s wife, Sherifat, said she contacted him on the telephone to know if he was save but could not reach him.
The distraught widow told our correspondent on Tuesday that the family reached out to senior army officers who assured them Musa was in a good condition.
She stated, “I last talked to him in December 2018. We usually chatted on WhatsApp but since then, I was unable to reach him. We called some of his bosses that we know and they assured us that there was no problem. They said if there was any issue, they would have informed them from the headquarters in Abuja. They said they sent signals to Maiduguri but did not receive any information which means there was no problem.
“It was on December 31, 2019 that they contacted his brother, who is his next of kin, and told him he was dead.”
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