A fresh Cadet of Nigeria Defence Academy, NDA, Kaduna, James Didam Bulus, has died of alleged brutalisation from senior cadets, 24 hours after he finished registration and reported to hostel.
Sources said in Kaduna that people wept uncontrollably at the funeral of the 18 year-old James, with registration number NDA/ 11537, at the Military Cemetery, on Whaff Road, Kaduna, on Thursday while a contingent of Nigeria Army buried the late cadet with full military honour, even though he had served his country for only 24 hours.
Brigadier General, MG Kangye, Cadets Commandant of the school, handed over the Nigeria National Flag, a pair of army boot and army ceremonial cap to the mourning father of the deceased, Mr Didam Joshua, as women cried uncontrollably in the fenced cemetery. Relations of the deceased cadet were too distraught to speak to our correspondent, but a close family friend of Joshua said he was beaten to death on his “introductory” night.
He said: “He arrived NDA on Saturday, 3rd September, 2016 and on Monday, 5th September; I was told that he was dead. It was my friend that drove his son to the gate of old NDA and they parted ways happily.
But, I was told that he died on Sunday after he did not survive what I was told was ‘introduction’ beatings from his seniors.
At the mortuary, you could see stitches on his head and he had bruises on other parts of the body. The NDA said that he died of stomach pain and that before he could be taken to the hospital, he died on the way.
“I asked ‘how can such a brilliant, young boy who was very eager, proud and happy to serve his country get killed just a day when he reported to start what we all thought will be a brilliant military career?
“How can a healthy, smart boy who was never a trouble maker have such wounds on his body, and someone is saying he had stomach problem? God knows the best.
But it will be difficult for my friend (Joshua) to pull through this agony, especially his wife, “, he said. When contacted, the Public Relations Officer, PRO, of NDA, Captain Musa Yahaya, said that James, who hails from Kaduna municipality, had an accident on the day he was to report and came to NDA with injuries.
He said: “It was when the new cadets were queuing to receive their kits that Cadet Didam slumped. He was immediately rushed to the clinic and was given the best of medical attention.
When the doctors examined him, they found out that he had internal bleeding. He had earlier confided to one of his colleagues that he had an accident on his way to NDA. But that he was afraid to tell the authority so that they would not reject him. He was never brutalized. It was an accident that he had. That was what the autopsy confirmed. He died on Monday.”