Jos: Soldiers killed my son and still wanted apology – widow

3 min read
Mr. Hannatu Izang, mother of slain Benjamin Arum Izang

A Central Nigerian community is preparing evidences for court battle with the Special Task Force in Jos for allegedly torturing a 31year-old to death.

Mr. Benjamin Arum Izang died on Tuesday at about 6pm local time, minutes after he was brutalized by Special Forces of the Military Task Force, it was learnt.

Late Benjamin Izang

He was said to have sustained multiple fractures from the hours-long brutality.

Izang, a trained teacher had reportedly quarrelled with a local egg vendor whose boyfriend is among the peacekeeping troops stationed at Tina-ata-tar road, in Jos the capital of Plateau State.

The quarrel reportedly started when he cracked a N50 egg (0.13UScents) before paying.

“The girl, a single mother threw his money back at him and alerted her boyfriend,” an eyewitness told MK.

Izang reportedly ignored a telephone order to report to the military base before he was picked up on a military patrol van and whisked away.

No family member was notified of the arrest until he was fatally injured, it was learnt.

“This is one case too many,” says the Afizere Youth Movement.

Amos Ajik, Youth leader

Speaking to journalists in Jos on Thursday, Organizing Secretary of the AYM, Mr. Amos Ajik said, “What business does the army have in settling civil matters? Who had tried our brother to confirm his guilt? What did he do to deserve such treatment? What happened to our human rights as law abiding citizens of Nigeria?”

The body, Ajik said will head to court soon as autopsy and police reports are ready.

The emotional youth leader said, “The excesses of these STF Officers must be cut down.

“We have heard and seen many more brutal attacks by these men on innocent citizens at the slightest provocation.

“One Dakop from neighboring Jude area of Fudawa community was just discharged from hospital yesterday after being manhandled by these men.

“There have even been instances where they pursue people right into their homes and brutalize or even open fire on them like terrorists when at a time that insecurity is on the rise like this, Nigerians are supposed to be at peace when they see our gallant soldiers.”

The demands of the youths are as good as the slain youth’s family’s.

“All I want is justice because I don’t want this to repeat itself.

“It seems with these soldiers, our children don’t have the right to move about again,” said mother of the slain Benjamin, Mrs. Hannatu Izang.

The soldiers after beating her son to coma still wanted her to apologize, she said.

“When I went to the military checkpoint, I saw my son laying on the floor motionless, with one soldier standing on him with a big stick.

“I identified myself as his mother but no one said a word to me.

“From their body language, it was as though they wanted me to still beg them,” said the 60year-old widow.

“They gave us a mean look,” added her eldest son, Mr. James Izang who accompanied her.

The late Benjamin Izang was however a peaceful and friendly man, James said.

“Even the lady who reported him has benefited from his benevolence,” he said.

Ishaya Banyam

In the community, late Benjamin, the Chairman of the Afizere Elders Council, Mr. Ishaya Banyam said was a volunteer private teacher to many families.

“We looked at him as an asset but now the army have taken him away from us,” Banyam regretted.

The community leader demanded political authorities to investigate and punish the crime to absolve the country of human rights abuses as alleged by international observers.

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