Mr. Odiriviroro Umusu, the immediate younger brother of Colonel Otobrise Umusu , who was killed by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) on Monday, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari, Chief of Army Staff and the Chief of Defence Staff of insensitivity and showing disrespect to his family.
The late Lieutenant-Colonel Umusu was the Commanding Officer, 118 Task Force Battalion, Borno State, where he was part of the counter-insurgency efforts of the Federal Government.
Mr. Umusu’s accusations were contained in a self-signed letter dated 14 December. The letter, exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters, accused President Buhari, Major-General Yusuf Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff, and Major-General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, Chief of Defence Staff, of lacking appreciation of the service rendered to the country by the late Army officer and his family.
Specifically, Mr. Umusu said the late officer’s widow, Mrs. Ufuoma Joe Umusu, and his siblings are yet to be contacted by the Presidency and the offices of the Chief of Defence Staff and the Chief of Army Staff to offer condolences on the death of the officer.
“My brave brother sacrificed his life and future with his family to make yours and every Nigerian’s today safe. In my humble opinion, we deserve your acknowledgement and appreciation and, as a former Army officer, I know you appreciate the sacrifice involved in serving your country and it saddens me that in over 24 hours after the passing of my brother, a call has not been made to my family.
"I do not, under any circumstance, believe this is too much to ask for the falling heroes of our beloved country Nigeria,” Mr. Umusu wrote.
The letter drew the attention of the President and the military chiefs to the fact that his departed spent his whole life serving the country at an early age, having joined the Army at an early age. To drive home his point, Mr. Umusu provided a detailed career profile of his late Army officer.
"The late Lieutenant-Colonel Umusu, wrote his brother, was in the Nigeria Military School, Zaria, from 1991 to 1996, served with the Army Intelligence Corps from 1996 and 1997 and was at the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, from 1997 to 2002, when he was commissioned as an officer in the Infantry Corps.
From 2002 to 2016, he served in Takum, Taraba State, Sierra Leone, Ibadan, Niger Delta, Army Headquarters in Abuja and Maiduguri, where he died in active service.
Mr. Umusu also reminded President Buhari that before the late Lieutenant-Colonel’s contributions to the Army, their father, Brigadier-General Sylvester Ugege Umusu had served the country.
“Your Excellency, if you are reading this, the name Umusu will ring a bell, as my father, Brigadier-General Sylvester Ugege Umusu, served under you and worked with you when you headed the Petroleum Trust Fund.
"My family has served Nigeria in her armed forces and continues to do so. We have paid the greatest price for that service: the very young life of my beloved brother Lieutenant Colonel Otobrise Umusu, who was killed in action,” stated Mr. Umusu, adding that the family requires answers to some questions surrounding his death.
The answers being requested pertain to questions such as: When will an investigation be conducted, if at all there will be any? Why did his Lieutenant-Colonel Umusu’s team not have the right equipment to stop him from bleeding to death? What lessons can be learnt from the the occurrence? What is being done to stop funding to Boko Haram? Why is it impossible to use the forensic skills deployed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to track weapon, vehicle and general equipment purchases made by Boko Haram since such must leave paper trails?
“Your Excellency, you may deem this letter as disrespectful and not the right procedure in dealing with this matter, but in my humble opinion, we deserve to know the who, what and why that happened to our brother on that terrible day and as his Commander-in-Chief, you are ultimately responsible for reaching out to all the families of our fallen heroes to assure them their loved ones did not die in vain,” Mr. Umusu concluded.