An Army corporal has killed a Mobile Police Officer, Sergeant Rowland Tafida in Borno State.
The homicide occurred after a face-off at Makara Area of Gwoza Local Government Area (LGA).
The corporal opened fire on the deceased and his colleagues with an Anti-Aircraft Gun (AAG). The shooting also damaged some facilities at the Limankara Police Training Camp.
Tafida was among the MOPOL Special Forces Team deployed to Gwoza last August, on counter-insurgency operations and would have completed his six months anti-terrorism operation on February 8, 2020.
Rowland, a father of two young girls, had already planned to depart Borno this weekend after his tour of duty.
An eyewitness told PRNigeria that the killing was “unfortunate and disheartening”. He recalled that the whole drama started with a shouting match between the soldier and another Police personnel over a girlfriend.
The eyewitness said: “Some people intervened and settled the matter when the aggrieved Army corporal asked a driver of an anti-aircraft gun Hilux belonging to his military base, to turn and face the Limankara Police Training Camp.
“Immediately after turning the vehicle, they opened fire and shot at the Camp’s facility. It was at that moment, Rowland Tafida, the late police sergeant, was killed by a stray bullet because he was not involved in the earlier altercation.
“The blast of the anti-aircraft vehicle totally disfigured his left leg thigh as he was returning to the camp after he went to charge his phone somewhere.
“The MOPOL officer could have survived the terrible assault, but nobody could take him to a medical facility as he lay in his own pool of blood, bleeding profusely and bled to death.”
Another eyewitness, a woman, revealed how other police officers at the Limankara camp swiftly mobilized and protested.
She added that it took the intervention of an Army major, who is the most senior officer in the location, to douse the tension.
“It was the Army major that came out to beg the aggrieved MOPOL personnel. He was the one who restored order and normalcy, otherwise, a mayhem would have erupted.
“After begging the police officers, the major arrested the killer corporal, and thereafter, the Army Theatre Command, contacted the Borno Police Command.”
The deceased’s aunt, Mrs. Zwancit Dazang, said neither the Police or the Army have informed them of Rowland’s death.
She said their son was on his way to the Police camp at Limankara, last Sunday afternoon, without knowledge of what earlier transpired between his fellow MOPOL officer and the killer soldier.
“We only got to know about our son’s tragic death in the social media. He was dressed in combat boots, jeans and a MOPOL T-shirt, with his rifle strapped on his shoulder, when he was shot”, Dazang said.
“The anti-aircraft truck is a lethal ammunition that can bring down a plane or helicopter from the sky; it can even destroy an armoured tank. That a soldier will use it to eliminate an innocent, but a fellow security officer like him, is unimaginable.
“A vibrant Police officer, with a very young family, was deliberately killed. His life wasted just like that. What was his fault? He wasn’t killed while fighting terrorists but by a soldier while walking, unprovoked and also did not provoked anyone. So, why take his life? That is barbaric, and wicked
“As I speak to you now, the late Rowland’s wife is emotionally-broken. She has not seen her husband for so long. And both she and their two lovely daughters, ages 5 and 2, were looking forward to a reunion with their husband, and father, before tragedy struck.
“What has Rowland done for anyone to take his life? The soldier who killed Rowland must be brought to book. Our son was there in Borno to defend his country. So, why should he be eliminated by someone he never hurt, or offended?”
It was gathered that the military and the police constituted a joint fact-finding committee to probe the incident and have apprehended the culprit.
He was taken to the Maimalari Barrack in Maiduguri, while the military has taken responsibility for the damaged facilities at the Police camp.
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