A Nigerian army general was shot dead by unidentified gunmen as he was travelling by car on a major road from the capital, Abuja, the army said on Friday.
Major General Hassan Ahmed was killed when gunmen attacked his vehicle along the Lokoja-Abuja road on Thursday, army spokesman Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu said in a statement.
Lokoja, 200 km (124 miles) south of Abuja, is the capital of Kogi state. Nwachukwu did not say who was travelling with Ahmed, or how far outside of Abuja he was. He said:
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With a heavy heart, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya, Officers and Soldiers of the Nigerian Army regret to announce the passing on of Maj Gen Hassan Ahmed, a former Provost Marshall of the Nigerian Army.
The sad incident occurred when the senior officer’s vehicle was attacked by gunmen while transiting along Lokoja – Abuja road yesterday 15 July 2021.
Ahmed was a director at army headquarters and had earlier served as the army’s Provost Marshal (a person in charge of a group of Military Police).
While two retired generals were shot dead last year in attacks as they travelled by road, no serving general had previously been killed in this manner.
Armed robberies and kidnappings for ransom, particularly in the northwest, have become so frequent that many are afraid to travel by road.
Growing nationwide lawlessness led legislators in April to call on the president to declare a state of emergency.