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Monday, April 22, 2024

How Soldier Shot and Crippled Me – Nigerian Police Chaplain Cries for Help

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ASABA, Nigeria – In the wake of a violent confrontation between the Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh communities in Delta State, Nigeria, a local Police Chaplain, Robinson Onokahweri, recounts a harrowing experience that left him unable to walk since July 22 last year.

According to Onokahweri, a soldier shot him at close range, shattering his leg during the crisis, and allegedly attempted to ensure he was dead by coming back to fire again.

Onokahweri, from the Oviri-Olomu community in Ughelli South Local Government Area, was attempting to ensure his family’s safety amidst the unrest when he was shot.

“As I approached Iyeghe Quarters in Aladja, the soldiers saw me at a close range and shot me,” Onokahweri said.

Despite his pleas, he claims the soldier disregarded his explanation, stating they had orders to “deal with you people.”

The chaplain made a narrow escape by hiding in an uncompleted building, allowing him to evade a second attempt on his life by the same soldier.

Rescued by locals, Onokahweri was rushed to the Orthopaedic Hospital in Warri, where he underwent extensive treatment, accumulating over N5 million in medical expenses.

Despite the community’s support, including financial assistance from Aladja and donations from individuals, Onokahweri faces continued challenges.

“My eldest son… had to drop out of school,” he shared, highlighting the profound impact of the incident on his family of eight.

Compounding his struggles, Onokahweri revealed that the soldiers denied responsibility for his injuries, with no acknowledgement or support from the military or state government.

The incident has left him in a dire situation, requiring further surgery to implant a device to support his shattered leg—a procedure estimated to cost around N900,000.

This account raises serious concerns about the conduct of military personnel during local conflicts and the broader implications for civilian safety and justice in regions plagued by unrest.

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