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Monday, December 11, 2023

Tragic Toll: How One Cadet’s ‘Malnutrition’ Death Reveals Deep Issues at Nigeria Police Academy

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KANO, Nigeria — The death of a 100-level course 9 police cadet, A.S. Jika, at the Nigeria Police Academy in Wudil, Kano State, has cast a grim spotlight on alleged mismanagement and high-handedness by the academy’s commandant, Assistant Inspector-General Sadiq Abubakar.

Jika, who hailed from Adamawa State, died on Saturday, September 2, 2023, in what his peers describe as avoidable circumstances fueled by starvation and lack of medical care.

Jika, a student in the Department of Computer Science, collapsed inside a toilet at the academy in the early hours of Saturday.

He was reportedly rushed to the academy’s clinic, where he was left untreated due to a lack of medical supplies and personnel, ultimately leading to his death.

A cadet, speaking anonymously for fear of victimization, said, “He was left untreated because there are no drugs and no medical officer to attend to him in the unconducive environment, before he gave up and died.”

Another cadet also spoke on condition of anonymity and shed light on what is described as a consistent pattern of negligence at the academy.

“Cadets collapse daily here during training due to fatigue, because it’s either they’re starved, malnourished, or both,” the cadet said.

“We’re usually threatened by the commandant and forced to engage in unwarranted training exercises.”

Several cadets accuse Commandant Abubakar of financial mismanagement, particularly with respect to feeding allowances.

An academy staff member, who requested anonymity, claimed that part of the money intended for feeding cadets was routinely diverted into private pockets by some top officials.

Staff and cadets alike also complained about the quality of food and the closure of essential services like the market and laundry, attributing these issues to the commandant’s decisions.

“Since the new commandant assumed office, they’ve been providing very bad and inadequate food for us,” a cadet stated. “The boy that died was not up to 20 years old. He wouldn’t have died if they’d attended to him.”

Assistant Inspector-General Abubakar did not respond to phone calls and text messages when contacted for comments.

The untimely death of Jika has raised grave concerns about the welfare and management of cadets in the academy.

While the academy has yet to release an official statement, the incident is likely to intensify calls for an overhaul of the institution and an investigation into its operational conduct.

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