Father of late Elshadai Kwasu, a cadet at the Nigeria Defence Academy, NDA, Kaduna, Honourable Danladi Angulu Kwasu has accused the academy of deliberately pushing his late son into a 100 metre deep lake during training session which resulted in his death.
Kwasu, who is a retired Wing Commander with the Nigeria Air Force and now a member of Kaduna State House of Assembly representing Zangon Kataf state constituency, made the allegation while addressing the media in Kaduna yesterday.
He alleged that due to negligence, about 20 cadets had died in swimming exercises and NDA was doing nothing to change the situation.
Kwasu said: “My son died on 30th April, 2015, as a result of drowning occasioned by gross negligence
“The NDA took them for a camping exercise (Camp Highland). In the course of the exercise, the NDA staff pushed him into the water of the Kangimi Dam (outskirt of Kaduna) at the deepest part of the dam.
“He was pushed into this deep water from a platform that was very high above the water. The NDA only tied a rope loosely round his waist with somebody else standing on the platform above the water and holding unto the other end of the rope.
“Before my son was pushed into the water, he expressed to his colleagues his reservations on the idea of using a rope as a safety measure since he had never swum in his life. The NDA staff overheard him. While he was standing on the platform, the same NDA staff suddenly pushed him off the platform into the water.
“In the process of pushing him, the loose rope round his waist was further loosened.
“When my son disappeared into the water, the NDA staff watched helplessly as there was no any safety measure in place. None of the trainers could swim or dive to rescue my son. There was no life jacket; there was no any lifeguard or diver that could go into the water to save the boy. The NDA, running out of ideas on what to do, then called in local fishermen to use their fishhooks to search for my son inside the water,” he said.
According to him, the fishermen used long fishing lines with big hooks and his son was accidentally hooked from his mouth and his corpse brought to the surface after three hours.
“I am compelled to speak out because all my efforts for the NDA to show me the video of the incidence and officially brief me on the circumstances that led to the death of my son have been to no avail.
“I will not keep quiet in the face of this kind of impunity. I will take all steps at my disposal to address this impunity and incompetence as displayed by the NDA authority.
“This is necessitated by the fact that my son is not the first officer cadet in NDA to get drown due to negligence and incompetence on the part of the authority.
“To date, not less than 20 officer cadets have suffered this faith; such cases include the case of Officer Cadet Ambele, the case of Officer Cadets A Barau and 2 others, the case of the over 15 officer cadets that got drowned in Onne, among other cases.
“In all these cases, nobody spoke out and nothing was done to prevent future occurrence, thus the circle of drowning (murder) through negligence has continued,” he said.
When contacted, the commandant of NDA, Major General Mohammed Inuwa Idris said “we (NDA) shall state our side of the story tomorrow (today); we will call the press tomorrow morning and say what happened,” he said.

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