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Saturday, 8 September 2018

20-Year-Old UNILAG Student Dies At Nigerian Defence Academy

The relatives of Damilare Taiwo, an economics student at Lagos University, Akoka, were beaten in pain after his death on the day he began training at the Nigerian Defense Academy in Kaduna.

Army officials reportedly said the 20-year-old man had collapsed and died at a training session last Tuesday.

But the family told Punch on Saturday that the circumstances surrounding Damilare's death had aroused suspicion and claimed he had been beaten to death.

A brilliant student with a MPC, said to be in the range of the High Division of the High Division, originally from Ile-Ife, the state of Osun has always wanted to be an experienced army officer.


He had applied for the NDA Regular Combatant Course in 2015 at 5 pm but did not list the successful candidates. Insensitivity to adversity, promising to Damilare to promise a few months ago again for the program.

He was on the short list of 10 selected candidates from Osun State for the course of 70 regular fighters on August 8, 2018, coincidentally when he completed his first study.

On Saturday, August 25, his father saw him go to the Ikorodu garage - some distance from their hometown - beaming with joy as the first child of the family was about to embark on a journey in the trade he took. care for years.

"He left Lagos for Kaduna on Saturday, one day after completing his project at school, and reported to training camp on Monday, August 27," said the deceased's father, Mr. Taiwo Oyedele.

In recounting Damilare's journey through life, Oyedele said that his death was a shock.

The father recalled: "He graduated from high school in 2014 and was allowed to study UNILAG the same year, only 20 years old, and he has just finished his project.

"When he wanted to go to Kaduna this Saturday, I advised him to be a good ambassador for the family and to pray for him, he was an easy kid, he always wanted to be a soldier.

"In one of his photos on Facebook, he placed the image of the late General Murtala Muhammed in the N20 ticket and replaced it with his photo, to tell you his passion for the Force and his desire to leave.

"He had expressed his interest in the army since 2011 when he was 13. It is so sad that he could not accomplish his mission.

"The army sent us some officers to tell us about his death last Thursday, saying he collapsed during a training session on Tuesday, August 28th."

Oyedele, a construction materials merchant, described his son's death as devastating for the family, complaining of having invested so much hope in him. For years, the businessman has fought to overcome the grief of irreparable loss.

A devout Christian, Damilare, was affectionately treated as "Dammy pastor", "one of God's generals", "Woli agba", alongside other religious nomenclatures.

"I can not forget him in any way He was my first child He was very dedicated in the churches of the community and his school Only God can comfort me He was an example for his two brothers and sisters.

"He was a cool person, and if he did not read, he surfed the Internet, studied the Bible, or helped his mother in his shop," the father added gently.

Although Oyedele managed to control his emotion, his wife was inconsolable and cried uncontrollably. She had become unconscious when she heard the sad news and was not conscious until she was taken to the hospital.

The intensity of his complaint during a meeting with our correspondent six days after the incident showed that the family had indeed lost an illustrious son.

She said sadly, "Won ti mi leyin okan (They broke my dog.) I heard that my son had been beaten to death while the army told us he had fallen and he was dead .

"I do not want my son to die in vain, the army said he would be buried in Kaduna, but I do not want my son to be buried there, they have to take his body to Lagos."

Damilare's younger brother, Moses, explained that his death was painful, noting that he had died with many of the beautiful projects he had for the family.

"There were a lot of promises and he promised to distribute N10,000 in his salary every month," he said.

Moses, who also claimed that his brother had died in questionable conditions, urged the military authorities to do an autopsy on his body.

He added: "The military officers who came to tell us oh

He said, "RIP, Damilare. You were the Asst. Head Boy, 2014 set; I was the Asst. Head Boy 2015 set.

It was a privilege to learn from a leader like you. Live of; your heritage remains forever.

"It really touched me. Everyone said good things about you when you left. God loves you the most brother. Rest in peace, "wrote another friend, Son Ba Smith.

Dr. Ayodele Shittu, the UNILAG's educational advisor, said he was Damilare's confidant, adding that he was in his office to say goodbye to Kaduna for the training.

Shittu said, "He was very humble and respectful. On the academic side, he was very strong and he would end up with a very good 2: 1 (second top division). He had finished his project.

"The news of his death was very shocking. He came to my office as he was leaving. He hid me almost nothing. I will miss him. "

Punch's efforts to obtain the NDA's reaction to the incident and the allegation raised by the family were unsuccessful.

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