//NDA, Kaduna, Northwest Nigeeia//
A Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna, fresh cadet, James Didam Bulus, 18, with registration number NDA/ 11537, has died of alleged brutalisation from senior cadets, 24 hours after he finished registration and reported to hostel, sources informed our correspondent in Kaduna.
The funeral of James, which was attended by our correspondent at the Military Cemetery, on WAFF Road, Kaduna, Thursday was grim and solemn as tears flowed uncontrollably, 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 bawled uncontrollably in the fenced cemetery.
Relations of the dead cadet were too distraught to speak to our correspondent, but a close family friend of the Joshua’s 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. I was told that he had 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. That before he could be taken to the hospital, he died on the way.
“I said ‘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 best. But it will be difficult for my friend (Joshua) to pull through this agony, especially his wife, “, he said.
Efforts to hear from Public Relations Office of NDA through Captain Yahaya to get the side of the NDA proved abortive as his line was not audible enough as at press time.