Ed Malik, A / Posted May 17, 2022 2.45 PM

Tragedy struck the Nigerian Army when Akwa Ibom State born first-class Army officer, Major J. Undiadeyi committed suicide yesterday, May 16, 2022, by shooting himself without any provocation.

The incident happened at the main entrance gate of Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Kaduna permanent site. While the Army public relations department has not released an official statement, some medical experts and defence analysts that we spoke to, said that they suspected that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) might be the cause and which they now believe to be a new reality with the Nigerian military due to the extended and unending insurgency campaigns all over the country.

According to a reliable eyewitness who wanted to remain anonymous, “the procedure is to disarm visitors to the military academy. The deceased Major came for a meeting with his armed escorts and while his men were being disarmed, he moved as if he wanted to ease himself, but instead he pointed the gun to his neck and triggered. That was all.”

Though, largely unacknowledged here among the military, medical experts and psychologists opine that there may be an alarming number of PTSD prone officers and men of the armed forces. They are worried about the increase in such cases in the military and have called for early diagnosis and relative therapy to help military officers returning from theatres of wars or armed engagements, to reintegrate themselves into normal life after their assignments. Generally, the condition is a disorder or mood swings of some sort that is characterized by failure to recover after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event.

The condition may last months or years, with triggers that can bring back memories of the trauma accompanied by intense emotional and physical reactions. Symptoms may include nightmares or flashbacks, avoidance of situations that bring back the trauma, heightened reactivity to stimuli, anxiety or depressed mood. Treatment includes different types of psychotherapy as well as medications to manage symptoms. It may take some months for sufferers to resolve the experience through dedicated professional medical attention.

Those acquainted with the officer said the Nigerian Army has lost a resource material. The late Major was a graduate of the Nigerian Defence Academy in Course 55 and an easy-going officer who was fondly called ‘genius’ by his colleagues. Until his untimely death, he was a Commanding officer in Zamfara State and had recently undergone senior military courses abroad.

At the time of death, he was not known to have been married. The deceased officer is survived by family members including his elder brother, who is a serving senior military officer Major General Paschal Undiadeyi of the Nigerian Army, Abuja.

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