• How Kalu killed Solape in barracks
From ROSE EJEMBI, Makurdi
Bernard a. kalu’s dream of a bright and promising future in the Nigerian Air Force, would now remain just a dream in the aftermath of the dastardly act he committed by killing his girlfriend, Solape Oladipupo, an Aircraftwoman in the NAF, in Makurdi, Benue State.
His bright star dimmed on Sunday, March 12, when he spilled the blood of Solape. The duo of Kalu and Solape were coursemates, recruited into the Air Force in 2016.
Amid rumours within the barracks that Solape was in engaged in a romantic relationship with another man, a young ex-corps member who was retained after completing his National Youth Service at the Air Force Secondary School, Makurdi, where he was deployed for his primary assignment, Kalu plotted a script which he executed at dawn on the ill-fated day.
He chose a day he would be deployed on night duty to catch his cheating lover in the act, and had apparently rehearsed the scene on his mental landscape throughout the previous night. By 6.06am on Sunday, he stormed her residence, Compound 9, located at the Corporals Quarters of the NAF Base.
As volcanic anger took hold of him, he pointed his already cocked rifle, pulled the trigger and pumped hot bullets into Solape’s body. As she fell and laid motionless on the floor, in a pool of her blood, Kalu was not done yet; he turned the rifle on his supposed rival, whose name could not be ascertained at press time, and pulled the trigger again, to complete his deadly mission.
However, unlike Solape, the unnamed ex-corps member was lucky as the rifle malfunctioned. Pronto, he grabbed Kalu as he fiddled with the gun, and raised the alarm. Neighbours bemused by the sound of gunshots besieged the scene to behold a gory sight. They quickly disarmed Kalu and arrested him. They also rushed Solape to the NAF Hospital within the barracks, from where she was referred to the Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BUTH), where doctors certified her dead.
Moments later, suspense pervaded the air, as a note said to be written by Kalu and found in his apartment, went viral on cyberspace, but the period within which he wrote it remained cloudy. There is no indication as to whether it was written before, or after he allegedly murdered Solape, who, until her death, was the orderly to the wife of the Air Officer Commanding, Tactical Air Command (TAC), Makurdi.
Solape’s neighbours, who do not want their names in print, confided in Sunday Sun that Kalu’s action might have been prompted by pains of betrayal, as he had already taken his late lover to his mother’s home for introduction, in anticipation of their marriage in no distant time.
He was said to have earlier confronted her with rumours making the rounds on her romance with another man, which she vehemently denied, before the bubble burst in the wee hours of last Sunday.
Efforts made at ascertaining the whereabouts of ex-corps member at the centre of love tango-turned-sour, drew blank, just as authorities of the NAF Base kept sealed lips on him.
Emmanuel Iheoma, a Wing Commander and Public Relations Officer of the Tactical Air Command, CPRO TAC, who confirmed the incident, said it was a case between two soldiers.
“Aircraftsman (ACM) Kalu shot an Aircraftswoman (ACW) Oladipupo about 6:6am on Sunday. She was taken to 161 NAF Hospital, Makurdi from where she was referred to the Benue State University Teaching hospital (BSUTH) where she died. Her corpse has been deposited at the 161 NAF Hospital morgue, and Kalu has since been detained at Air Provost Squadron, NAF Base, Makurdi. Investigation is still ongoing at the moment,” he told Sunday Sun correspondent.
Interestingly, when asked about the authenticity of the note allegedly written by Kalu, the CPRO said he might have written it before his arrest and detention. He, however, urged members of the public to disregard the note.
Meantime, mixed reactions have trailed Kalu’s action, even as the puzzle on when and where he wrote the hand-written, farewell note is yet to be resolved.
No death ever pained me like this one
– Psalmist David, Shomzy’s friend
By ENYERIBE EJIOGU
Like a river, the grief of relations and Facebook friends of Miss Oladipupo Solape, an Aircraftswoman in the Nigerian Air Force, who was shot and killed by her boyfriend, Benard Kalu, a fellow soldier and Aircraftsman, following what is now believed to be a tragic case of romance gone terribly sour. They were both based in Makurdi, Benue State.
From the postings on his Facebook page, Kalu (known as Lieut Kal on Facebook) seemed absolutely besotted with Solape, known to her global Facebook family as Shomzy Shomzy. Something is thought to have snapped in his mind leading to the terrible decision to end the life of his girlfriend, apparently after learning that she would dump him for another person.
Recalling how their relationship started with a simple “hello” on the parade ground on a certain day, and later developed into what he described as a military crush, Kalu said: “It all started with a “hello.” I remember vividly that Monday morning on the parade ground. Seeing such a beauty, pondering on what’s right to say to her. Every one’s eyes were on her but my eyes were bigger. I was overblown by the wind of bravado, standing next to her.
“My dad once did what am doing (romance), its a stage every man has to pass through but being in the right track. She’s my first military crush. Most elderly ones would love it. Married men would smile while remembering the past. The younger ones would want to be in such scenario. The girls would like me for loving her. The boys would try to imitate my standard. But they can’t give their bae the standard.
What’s the standard? It’s called the military crush!!”
Following the gruesome slaying of Solape, one of her Facebook friends, Doyinsolami Abeni Honeysource, fired a bazooka at Kalu in response to his post, saying, “So, you ended up crushing her to death!” And Bala Jennifer Isomi, told him not compare his tragic love for Solape with the ethereal romance of Romeo and Juliet as captured by William Shakepeare: “Never ever compare yourself to Romeo, he died for love but you killed out of obsession.”
As a Sunday Sun columnist, who pleaded for anonymity, wondered why no one raised red flags after reading the messages Kalu posted on his Facebook wall.
Her words: “Lieut Kal posted cryptic messages about what he was about to do on Facebook. Many people read them and probably laughed them off, no one tried to check on him. No one asked questions. I think he was obsessed with the lady and he couldn’t handle his emotions. He snapped! Killed her in cold bold…..but he is alive. Whatever reasons he did that for I don’t know.”
She handed down this advice for young girls: “Watch out and check out your friends and families when you notice any strange patterns in them. Reach out more! Single girls, always watch your back. I’m sure he must have slipped or given her clue but she probably called his bluff. When you see a red flag go and report to appropriate authorities.”
Deeply touched by the death of Shomzy, Psalmist David, who conceded that he had not known her previously expressed his anguish over the slaying of the airwoman: “I never saw death of someone I don’t know that pained me like this one. I wish I could just turn back the hand of time for this lady. So painful. My heart is broken!
For Zeniat Abiri SMH her simple summation is an earnest prayer: “May God not let my son embarrass my entire lineage like this.”
Chidi Hamilton Ifeanyi, another friend of Shomzy recalled how recently the victim had celebrated her birthday and achievements with thanksgiving to God. “You never knew what this wicked world holds, your smiles throw more light on how bright tomorrow would have looked like, but you were never given the chance to prove it. I am speechless because I can’t write it all. Goodbye.”
While Awonuga Oladimeji prayed that God would comfort the family of the slain soldier, Victoria Oluwaseunfunmi Olatunji, who stumbled on the story on the internet described the tragic end of the very promising life of Shomzy as a nightmare. She said: “It is so, so sad, it should have been a nightmare and never should it have happened. I was so touched by this story that I have to follow every link. I never met you before but I am sure you were a very jovial and friendly person, judging from what you.”
No less incensed by the inexplicable killing of Shomzy, Reuben Sanya opined: “Violence against women must stop in all segments of Nigerian society. Forget love. If Lieut Kal had respect for women, he would have simply talked it over with her and maybe stopped dating her. But because he is such an animal without respect for women and sanctity of human life he did this evil that will forever live after him.”
On his part, Idika Samuel Kalu, lampooned him for the dastardly act: “Kalu, other soldiers would kill Boko Haram, but you chose to kill your girlfriend. Well, only a fool that can do what you did. They should waste no time in executing you.” He added: “Good bye baby gal.”
Then this comment from Nicky Romeo Marquend: “If I’ll just have sometime with your murderer, my sister, he will wish he wasn’t born, the difference between me and him is that he was trained to use a gun and I was born trigger itching, and this guy, I wish he was here and they kind of give him bail….”
Angelic Rukkylyzo declared that Kalu must not go un unpunished, justice must be served for Solape’s gentle soul and added: “I go carry pikin for nine months, suffer labour pain, nurse am, come train am finish, one idiot go come kill am. Hmmm, Satan go recieve him visitor dat day.”
Ohai Halima Ngozi, who posted a 2012 picture of Kalu in junior secondary school wondered what could have gone wrong, asking rhetorically: “How can Nigerians allow such under-aged children into the military to possess weapons? Children that are in no way mentally or socially mature. He was really obsessed over the girl because I don’t think he has an insight of what love is. Ordinarily he wouldn’t have shot his girlfriend if he was matured enough to handle situations. Nigeria needs to awake to realities of life and set up standards that will not be detrimental to this nation.”
Maureen Francis was mortally pained that Solape’s life was wasted by a man she loved so much while Omolu Collins Onyeka took umbrage at people who advanced the view that Solape cheated on Kalu as being the reason for his action. She said: “Cheating is not good, it is painful to see your partner cheating on you, remember the lady in question is not alive anymore to tell her own side of the story. The beast (referring to Kalu) may use the word “cheat” just to justify his stupidity. You are not married yet, even though you are married why not send her to her parents if you can not endure?”
Nwankwo Henry agreed with the view of Francis and saying that cheating in no way could justify the evil committed by Kalu.
In his comment, Erudite Scholar delivered what could pass as coup de grace on Kalu: “Lt Kalu the Fool is such a coward and a weakling he is not qualified to be a soldier he should be executed by firing squad according to SMC.”
“Firing squad is too easy for him… he should be thrown to an angry mob,” declared Psalmist David.