Widow of a soldier killed by Boko Haram arrested for impersonation: I didn’t want my children to starve, daughters to become prostitutes


Angela Maidoki was recently caught impersonating a soldier. She tells SOLA SHITTU she came up with the idea to take care of herself and three daughters after her husband, Lance Corporal John Maduki, was killed by Boko Haram two years ago in Maiduguri, Borno State
Where are you from?
I’m from Cross River State and my late husband is from Kafanchan in Kaduna State.
What led to you wearing army uniforms?
I know it’s an offense and I have pleaded guilty and promised never to do it again.
How much have you made from it?
I have spent all the money I made here. At times, people would give me N5,000, N7,000 or N10,000 to escort their vehicles. It depends on where we go and the kind of vehicle I escort.
How long have you been doing it?
I started two years ago when my husband died. He was killed in Maiduguri while fighting Boko Haram.
Now that you have been caught, how do you feel?
I feel bad because my children have stopped going to school since this happened. After I was caught, soldiers broke my leg; that is why I can’t walk properly.
What pushed you into it since you knew the risks involved?
I have five children – two boys and three girls. My husband and I were married for 19 years before he died in 2017. He died very close to Adamawa State where there were landmines.
He was Lance Corporal John Maidoki. We were all living at the barracks in Ogoja before his demise.
Did you start wearing his uniform after his death?
No, I bought this. This is not the uniform that Nigerian soldiers use. If you look at it properly and look at the ones that Nigerian soldiers wear, you will notice the difference. They are different; I cannot impersonate a Nigerian soldier because I am not a soldier.
How can you tell the difference between the uniforms?
The soldiers know it’s not the same. This is not the one they are wearing now; it is their old uniform.
Did you expect the public to also know this?
Yes, I expected that because it’s not the real uniform that I was using.
How were you arrested?
I was in the passenger seat of a vehicle with the intention of ensuring the vehicle would be able to pass through checkpoints.
How come it took so long for soldiers to know you were not one of them?
Once they saw in the passenger seat of a vehicle in a military uniform, they just allowed the vehicle to pass without asking questions as they assumed I was one of them.
Do you know that is impersonation?
Yes, I know. I did it for the sake of my children. After their father’s death, they could die or go into prostitution and I didn’t want that. I have three girls and my first daughter is 15 years old. I am 42 years old now.
When your husband was alive, what were you doing?
I was a housewife.

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