Suspicious bandits razed and attacked at least three sacred institutions in the country in one week: the Kogi State Capitol; Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Oktipupa, Ondo State; and the Nigerian Air Force in Zamfara State. In Zamfara state, bandits attacked the Operation Hadarin daji Patrol on Thursday, which is made up of officers from the Nigerian Air Force and Police Special Forces located in the Bundugu area of the state.
An encounter between the army and the bandits killed two security personnel, a police inspector and a NAF agent and was identified as James Okpu. According to reports, seven bandits were killed in the gun battle. On Sunday, PUNCH learned that the incident occurred while President Major General Muhammad Buhari (retd) ordered a no-fly zone order restricting bandit activities in the state is still in effect. Since then, Opp’s family and friends have mourned him on social media.
His brother, Maro Okpu, who posted the pictures of the deceased, wrote, “Why now, brother? You never planned to ‘let go’ in such a hard way. (You are) always in our heart, kid brother. Rest on.”
At the same time, a relative of Opp, who did not want to be identified, said that an officer close to his family first revealed the news to him. The relative stated that the commander of the deceased’s unit later called to express his condolences to the deceased’s family.
The source said, “On Thursday, I got a call from someone who claimed to be the deceased’s commander. He asked after my well-being and asked if I heard what happened to my brother. I told him I heard. He then said, ‘Take heart. I am sorry. May his soul rest in peace.’ I hit my phone against the floor and began to weep.
“The deceased was a young man. He had been the pillar of our family ever since we lost our parents. He joined the Air Force to fend for the family. One of my brothers met me crying. He picked up the phone and called the commander.
“He didn’t tell me much about what they discussed. All he just said was that we should go to Abuja. I called the commander’s number on Friday with the elders of the family being present to get information on how he died. The commander said I should call back, but since then we have not been able to talk.”