Honour for an Army Colonel

Colonel Ahmed

By Chiemelie Ezeobi

The 2019 general elections might have come and gone, but some security personnel stood out for their non partisanship. For the Nigerian Police, Muhammed Wakili, the Kano State Commissioner of Police, stood out.

In Akwa Ibom State, Colonel Mohammed Ahmed of the Nigerian Army, displayed same non partisanship, thus earning him a commendation letter from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In a letter personally signed by the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Hon. Mike Igini, which the Nigerian Army had displayed on its Facebook page, Ahmed was commended for his examplary leadership, but particularly for his non-partisanship during the elections.

The letter read thus: “I wish to and hereby convey my personal and that of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Akwa Ibom state appreciation and commendation to the above officer of the Nigerian Army for his distinguished and professional conduct, efficiency and exemplary non partisanship in the discharge of his duties and the command of officers during the conduct of the 2019 elections in the state.

“His outstanding performance was noted and commended by all key stakeholders. In all circumstances where election integrity was under threat, he promptly ensured that the constitutional brief of the Nigerian Army was discharged with professionalism, unquestioned respect to the Nigerian Army and its officers in the 2019 election in Akwa Ibom State.

“This officer showed no partiality to any side but discharged his duties with firmness and fairness, making it possible for voters and other stakeholders to freely participate in the elections in an unfettered and secured ambiance.

“For this excellent professionalism, I commend and recommend him highly for distinguishing himseif and his troops and bringing esteem and respect to the Nigerian Amy. I wish him continued success in all his future endeavours.”

Although the commendation was laudable on so many fronts, but for those, like this reporter, who have followed his career, from Owode in Ogun State back in 2013 to his present posting, the commendation was not in any way surprising. While holding the helm of affairs at 192 Battalion, Owode as the Commanding Officer, Ahmed, who was a Lieutenant Colonel then, was instrumental in quelling so many community uprisings.

In April 2013, the Adodo Community in Ogun State, a mix of agrarians, traders and civil servants, had on a certain Monday swooped on their traditional ruler, the Olofin of Adodo, Oba Lateef Akanni and beat him to a pulp over perceived injustice constantly received at his hands.

However, that he was beaten to a pulp was not as shocking as the realisation that even the king makers had endorsed the treatment meted out to the ruler.
In traditional societies, king makers are usually the backbone of any ruler and a revolt against their ruler often spells doom, as was the case of Adodo community where both the kingmakers and the people were against the king.

Indeed, but for providence and the timely response of the Nigerian Army led by Ahmed, the traditional ruler barely escaped being lynched by whiskers as the community revolted against him in an unplanned coup.

Declaring the traditional ruler persona non grata, the community had descended on him, beat him up and burnt the palace with his wife and kids locked up inside the building despite their cries for help. Asides beating the traditional ruler and setting the palace ablaze, the community also burnt about three cars that were in the compound, just as they also vandalised the entire property.

THISDAY had reported then that Ahmed had stormed the palace with a retinue of soldiers and rescued the queen and her kids.

Months down the line, June to be exact, Ahmed’s expertise was again displayed when he quelled another uprising. This time around though, some custom officers stationed at the Ilase Custom Checkpoint, along Owode-Idiroko Road from the Federal Operating Unit (FOU), Owode-Idiroko, shot a heavily pregnant female passenger, Alhaja Fausat Ayode, to death and absconded for fear of the irate mob.

The mob had gone on rampage, destroyed and set the checkpoint on fire before Ahmed was contacted and he immediately stormed the scene with his men to quell the situation and restore peace.

From Owode, Ahmed has since taken on greater tasks and deployments. THISDAY checks revealed that from Owode, he was moved to Liberia NIBATT 35 in 2014, after which he was deployed to Gwoza, Maiduguri, as part of Operation Lafiya Dole in 2015. Thereafter he went to Nigerian Army School of Infantry (NASI) as Chief Instructor in 2016.

In 2017, he was deployed to 26 Task Force Brigade in Gwoza as the Chief of Staff (COS). From there he was posted to Headquarters 6 Division, Port Harcourt in 2018 and finally to 2 Brigade, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State during the just concluded general elections.