Relatives of Captain Ogbonna Akpa Nwota have raised the alarm over his whereabouts after the Boko Haram attack in Metele, Borno State, in November 2018.
Although the Army claimed only 23 soldiers were killed in the attack, security sources told SaharaReporters that more than 120 men, including soldiers and Civilian JTF members, had indeed been killed while about 200 more were still missing.
Nineteen of those soldiers wwre buried in December 2018. However, family members of Nwota of Amikpa, Umudomi, Onicha, in Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi State say Captain Nwota was in one of the units involved in the fight against Boko Haram in that attack.
Grace Nwota, a widow and mother of the soldier, who is in her 60s, lamented her frustration at not being able to say exactly what happened to her son.
“I am just praying to God to let this cup pass over me,” she told SaharaReporters.
“As you see me here, I am finished; my blood pressure has not come down since we heard of the attack in that place. Our problem now is that nobody is talking to us. Even our village union has gone to Enugu to see the Army people but they didn’t tell us anything. So, I’m begging that they should tell me if my son is dead or alive.
“I am also praying that nothing bad should happen to my son, because his children are still very small and I don’t want my daughter-in-law to suffer my fate because my husband died very early in our marriage.”
Similarly, Chief Agom Okorie, Chairman of ADU, stated that a letter had been forwarded to the Nigerian Army on December 19, 2018, but they had not received any positive feedback on the matter.
His wife, Nneka, said the last time she spoke to her husband was in August 2018.
Meanwhile, the family through its counsel, Ugochukwu Ezekiel-Hanks of E.H. Ugochukwu Chambers, has written to the Army on the soldier’s whereabouts, but he has not received any feedback.
According to a family member, Nwota should have gone to the Command and Staff College, Jaji, this month, but was sent on special posting to the North-East. He is also said to have been in the North-East region for four years, participating in the battle against insurgency.
Dr. Laz Ude Eze, a family friend to the Nwota’s, also confirmed the report to SaharaReporters.
Noting that the soldier had not been heard from since November 18, 2018, Eze said: “I know Captain Nwota and his family personally. We attended GSS Afikpo together. The pain the family and his loved ones have gone through over the past two months is better imagined than experienced. The silence of the military authorities is sheer wickedness, to say the least! Captain Nwota and no soldier or the family deserve to be treated this way.”