Donatus Vonkong, the soldier gunned down at the palace of the Shehu of Borno may have well died as a hero.
ionigeria.com had reported how a policeman said to be under the influence of alcohol killed Vonkong.
Narrating Tuesday’s incident to a correspondent of Daily Trust, a source described the deceased as a celebrated army officer who saved the Shehu from a suicide attacker in 2012.
“The MOPOL returned for Sintiri (duty) but he was looking very drunk. Initially, the staff sergeant wanted to disarm him but later left him. Minutes later, he started shooting sporadically and accidentally shot the staff sergeant on the cheek, killing him instantly,” one of the sources disclosed.
The Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai Al-Amin El-Kanemi
Another source said, “It was well-known that Donatus Vonkong was a celebrated officer. In 2012, he saved the Shehu of Borno from a suicide bomb attack. He forced himself to the bomber in the midst of people and pushed him away. The IED detonated and injured him on the leg. He was loved and cherished by the people.”
In 2019, the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai Al-Amin El-Kanemi, had conferred a traditional title on the deceased soldier attached to his palace.
Vonkong was turbaned as ‘Zanna’, which means traditional aide.
“Whether you are in active service or retired, you are allowed to perform your full functions as a ‘Zanna’ in this palace,” the Shehu of Borno had told Vonkong after the decoration.
The monarch, while praying for lasting peace in Borno and other parts of the country, also advocated for peaceful co-existence, unity, and love among all Nigerians despite differences in regions, religion, ethnicity, cultural and political affiliations.