A Facebook user, Jack Vince, has taken to the social media platform to mourn the tragic death of his friend and brother, Tanko Mani, a Captain in the Nigerian Army, and three others by a happy trigger colleague in Chibok, the frontline in the battle against Boko Haram terrorists.
Vince posted that Mani was gunned down when he tried alongside his slain colleagues to disarm a soldier who was harassing civilians in the area before he turned the gun on himself.
He also raised issues with the long combatant operations of troops and appealed to the Nigerian Army to limit the number of months on the frontlines.
The Whistler learnt that Capt. Mani got married in October 2014 and like many others paid the ultimate price in defence of his country.
Jack Vince’s post reads:
REST IN PEACE, my friend and brother, Tanko Mani. News of your untimely death came as a rude shock to all of us who lived and shared sweet memories with you back in Maimalari Barracks.
I was still in the barracks when he came from Depot NA, Zaria, as a young recruit. His tiny frame and benign disposition was enough to endear him to everyone who knew him. He left us for training at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Kaduna when he gained admission there. He was commissioned as an officer and posted to Okunanu Barracks in Enugu State, that was the last time I had contacts with him. Later, I heard from a mutual friend that he was in Adamawa State fighting insurgency.
Captain Tanko was a close friend I had dined and lived with. We both lived in Artillery blocks, attended the same church (Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Catholic church, Maimalari Barracks) and were both in the choir where he became choir chairman. A personal loss I must say.
News making the rounds is that Tanko Mani, the Zuru, Kebbi State born young officer, was shot and killed this morning in Chibok by a trigger happy soldier who killed four other soldiers and himself when they tried to disarm him. The culprit was said to be harassing some civilians when Tanko and the slain soldiers tried to intervene. This is, no doubt, a sad episode in the fight against terrorism.
The authorities should be mindful of the welfare, mental and physical well-being of troops at the front lines. Whatever is currently being done ought to be improved upon. Most of them, like Capt Tanko, have stayed too long in the embattled northeast. Deployments should be for eight or 12 months, maximally.
Though often under reported, there are countless unpalatable stories emanating from the barracks, no thanks to the attendant consequences of deployments for too long.
Join me in praying for the repose of his soul and for his wife, child and entire family to bear the sad loss.
Grant eternal rest unto Tanko Mani and his companions, o Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. Inomine Patri et Fili et Spiritu Santu, amen. Santa Maria, Ora Pro Nobis.