• Badagry is mourning now –Akran of Badagry
By Ayo Alonge [email protected]
The mother of Solape Oladipupo, aka Shomzy, an Aircraftwoman in the Nigerian Air Force, who was killed her fellow soldier, Bernard Kalu, an Aircraftman, in Makurdi, Benue State went into shock and fainted when news of the slaying her daughter, who was the breadwinner of the family, was broken to her. She has since been on admission in a hospital in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
When Sunday Sun visited the family home of the deceased at Wurako Compound, Badagry, Lagos, the atmosphere was gloomy and everyone wore a mournful look.
The first daughter of the family, 32-year-old Jolaade Oladidupo, who spoke with Sunday Sun amid tears, recalled the last moment with her late sister.
“What happened to my sister is a very painful thing. She was the breadwinner of our family and only a few people would understand how we feel now. I would say she was the closest person to me, of all my siblings,” Jolaade said.
Continuing, she said: “She came home on December 29 and it was just on December 31 that I saw her displaying the picture of Kalu. As her elder sister, I called to caution her and I advised that she still had a long way to go and that such action may jettison her glorious future. From that day, she stopped uploading the guy’s pictures.”
Jolaade also stated that she and Shomzy chatted on WhatsApp the night before she was murdered, and showed Sunday Sun the chat between them as proof.
Her words: “See it yourself. The night before, I still chatted her up on how she hoped to further her education and she assured me that she had already informed one of her bosses who was ready to assist her.
“Just the following morning, a lot of people started calling me and they were military personnel. They started by breaking the information to me subtly. I just started receiving one call after the other. Finally, the immediate younger one to Solape just called and bluntly broke the story and said, ‘Aunty Jolaade, they have killed Solape, they have killed Solape.”
Jolaade also recalled that her late sister was always with her in Badagry while the other members of the family had temporarily relocated to Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
Further enquiry into the life of the late Solape revealed that she developed so much zest for the military that she had to obtain all military recruitment forms – Navy, Army, Air Force. She even obtained the Police recruitment form.
As to why she had so much interest to join the military, Jolalade told Sunday Sun that it was due to an act of harassment once suffered in the hands of some military men. She ostensibly believed joining the military would provide her protection.
“Solape was a very caring and kind person who liked to help anyone who came to her for any assistance,” Jolalade said.
Kehinde Oladidupo, another of Solape’s siblings, while lamenting the sad development, called for justice to be done in the case. She said: “The government should ensure that the guy is brought to justice. It is not that we don’t know what to do. We do. But we have just decided to calm down. Even the family of Kalu hasn’t contacted us. Everybody is now sick in the family. This evil occurrence has plunged all of us into so much agony. See, I am a nursing mother, but I have not been eating since we heard the news. Just like my other siblings. We need justice.”
Basirat Fayemi, who introduced herself as Solape’s best friend, described her death as shocking and painful.
“She was a very simple, caring, loving and hardworking person. She was my best friend. I spoke to her on the Saturday before the news was broken to me the following morning, which was Sunday. How can a person I spoke to just the other day be dead? Her death is something that is really painful to me,” said Fayemi.
An uncle to the deceased, Kayode Segbenu, said: “I was the one they first broke the news to, from Makurdi. They must have investigated to know that I was her uncle. Anyway, let the government take their decision on the matter. We are a peace loving family and we like to make peace.”
Asked whether the family had any regrets about Solape joining the military, Segbenu replied: “We have no regret that she joined the Air Force. I masterminded her joining the force when I realised how passionate she was about it.”
After graduation from Cornel Holy Child Schools, located on Samuel Ekundayo Road, in Badagry, in 2014, Solape started buying all the military recruitment forms, some of which were shown to Sunday Sun reporter.
As at the time, she went into the Air Force in January 2016, Solape was already a student of the Department of Business Administration at Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Ijanikin.
Speaking on behalf of the Paramount ruler of Badagry, His Majesty, De Whenu Aholu Wenu Toyi 1, Oba of Badagry, the Secretary to the Royal Council of Oba of Badagry, Baale Abiodun Patinvoh, bemoaned the incident, while expressing condolence to the bereaved family:
His words: “We the people of Badagry are not happy over the incident. The entire Royal Council and people of Badagry are not happy too. Nothing of such has ever happened here. It is very painful to us. The family of the boy (Kalu) are not safe too. If the boy can just kill his own girlfriend like that, I think his family have to be careful.
“The Royal Council wants the family of the deceased to be patient and allow justice take its due course. Plans are also underway to send delegates to the family.”
Kalu killed Solape in the early hours of Sunday 12, March 2017 having prepared a suicide note in view of his intention to terminate his own life too.
Shomzy Shomzy, as she was fondly called on the social media, left behind a 57-year-old father and a 55-year-old mother and 10 siblings. She was the seventh child of her parents.