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Monday, 12 August 2019

OPINION: RETURNING NIGERIAN SOLDIERS BACK TO THE BARRACKS IS THE ONLY ANTIDOTE TO UNWARRANTED BRUTALITY

OPINION: RETURNING NIGERIAN SOLDIERS BACK TO THE BARRACKS IS THE ONLY ANTIDOTE TO UNWARRANTED BRUTALITY


Nigerian soldiers operating against established norms as being daily witnessed in Nigeria, have obviously stayed beyond their welcome outside their barracks since the the so-called democratic experiment kicked off in 1999. Up till date, the Nigerian soldiers especially the poorly trained officers/recruits of Fulani extraction, have completely lost focus on the internationally acceptable rules of engagement in dealing with the civilian populace. The lawless activities of the army across are just nauseating with alarming number of Human Rights Organisations indicting them alongside their responsibility of garrison operational command. It should not be hurriedly forgotten that in numerous occasions,  Amnesty International, Intersociety and amongst other local/global Human Rights Organisations had published incriminating reports against the Nigerian army on gross human rights violations proudly committed against the family members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and members of Shia Islamic Movement in Nigeria. This wave of brutality persistently being orchestrated with genocidal raids, extended also to different communities in Southern Nigeria particularly within the South-East and South-South regions. Murderous military expedition was equally carried out inside the palace of His Royal Majesty (HRM) Eze Israel Okwu-Kanu as well as other countless heinous crimes committed against humanity in Biafraland by a supposed disciplined, professional, national army.

Taking a closer look at the chronicled atrocities being perpetrated against the citizens, it therefore becomes timely, stating unambiguously that the presence of the occupational armed soldiers on the highways, major roads and streets, are currently breeding criminality in the society. The soldiers are gruesomely killing people with reckless abandon not minding  the consequences. On Wednesday 7th August 2019, the Nigerian army contingent stationed in Aba, Abia State, a relatively peaceful city, had in their patterned method of murdering innocent civilians, killed a tricycle operator for his refusal in responding  to extortion demand of N100 at an army checkpoint. Since the return of democratic rule in the country in 1999, Nigerian soldiers drafted from Hausa-Fulani Islamic stock have brazenly been killing civilians without recourse. To heighten their tyrannical, brutal and vampiric antecedents, they equally extended this barbaric enterprise to the Nigerian police.

Just recently, a detachment of Police Intelligence Officers were detailed for an assignment from the office of the Inspector General of Police, Abuja on Sting Operation. This was meant to capture alive, a Fulani notorious kidnapper in Takum, Taraba State. When the gallant police officers eventually got hold of the kidnap kingpin, the trigger-happy and grossly unprofessional Nigerian soldiers on a checkpoint along Ibi-Takum road, got alerted from the field stooges of the kidnapper that their boss in crime has been captured by a group of people believed to be officers of the Nigerian police. Immediately, the soldiers illegally mounted roadblocks which facilitated the gruesome murder of the police officers on legitimate national assignment. The soldiers released the notorious Fulani kidnapper who earlier was in police handcuff. Unfortunately however for the criminal soldiers, there never realized that there existed constant communication between the Police Intelligence Officers on the operation, with the office of the Police Inspector General in Abuja which was suddenly truncated immediately after the officers were killed. From that spot, it was confimatorily traced that the Nigerian soldiers on illegal roadblocks, carried out the despicable act.

Premised on this ugly development emanating from the reckless armed Nigerian soldiers loitering unabatedly around the streets in stark contrast to their statutory responsibility as clearly stipulated in the Constitution, it is  important that all the soldiers operating outside the barracks and Sambisa forest, be ordered back. Maintenance of international security and enforcement of just laws/order, remain indisputably, the constitutional mandate of the Nigerian police and Civil Defence. The Nigerian army should  exclusively be made to face the protection and defense of Nigerian land borders from trespasses and external aggression. Not internal security! The soldiers can as well be deployed to suppress insurrection in any troubled region of the country. This takes place where there exists state of emergency, proclaimed by the government or within a designated enemy territory. Any other thing besides this, should be totally condemned. The soldiers should be concerned with conducting research and strategy for military capacity development and not intimidating, brutalising and killing the innocent.


Infact, the presence of armed soldiers on checkpoints and streets nationwide, have caused colossal damages to Nigerians than  derivable benefits if there exists any at all. Numerous kinds of crimes ranging from armed robbery, raping, kidnapping, extortion and killing are traceable to the criminal activities of the Nigerian soldiers. It has become the wish of Nigerians to have the soldiers completely returned back to the barracks as the country is no longer under military government. The only thing that will help restore the dignity of Nigeria, is to ensure that the Nigerian soldiers are completely withdrawn from public domain and sent back to where they rightly belong which is the barracks.

Written by Mazi Onyebuchi Eze

Edited by Peter Oshagwu
For Family Writers Press International

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