Sunday, 22 January 2017

Nigerian Soldiers Brutalising Nigerians since Time Immemorial

All Nigerians and surely, the rest of the world, are aware of the nation’s uncountable problems ranging from porous borders to corruption to illiteracy to lack of infrastructures etc. But none of these gets me like the state of the bodies who's responsibilities are to protect the lives of Nigerian citizens. 

Often times I come across either articles or social media posts with the brutalities some citizens pass through in the hands of uniformed men, especially; military men, and the reaction of the Nigerian people to these occurrences are usually, funny memes of how one’s accent will change if slapped by the military or something about crossing to the other side of the road at the sight of a military man. Funny thing is; stuff that should be taken seriously and dealt with is accepted as normal with this sort of reactions, which is one of the major reasons the nation is doomed. Doomed? You might ask. What then can be said of a nation carrying on with life as usual, despite being aware of the refugee camp filled with Nigerians and aid workers that was bombed by the Nigerian military? And oh! Whilst the few reasonable ones are still in shock of that, our lordship decides to take a 10-day vacation, jets off to some foreign land, and we are told, will get a medical examination whilst at it? Or, a rich nation with some of its citizens dying of diseases and starvation in some parts of the country and receiving some foreign aids which can only go thus far, with nothing coming from their brother and sisters (other Nigerians). So, almost all sense of common reasoning and brotherhood is lost in this part of the world and the citizens are equal to/less than animals- and by animals I mean vultures or cows not lions. But I digress...

So a gentleman decides to take a walk and probably think of what prospects exists for him as a youth in this country. He wears a black armless top with a red track trouser and sets out. While at Keffi, he walks by some OP MENSA soldiers and one of the soldiers accustom him asking why he is dressed that way and why he is so muscular and in shape. He tells them he does it for fitness -being a fitness instructor, and besides enjoys working out. Then, he gets slapped by one of the soldiers, while the others pounce on him.

Before saying anything, please take a moment to focus on the question our military men asked the young man? Why are you so muscular and in shape? Is there a law that places some limit on muscularity or being in shape? Isn’t this foolishness similar to that exhibited by police officers who would stop you on the road and ask you to provide purchase receipt of a gadget (either phone or laptop) that you’ve had for probably over 2 years? And then when you can’t provide it, they ask for their entitlement- ‘your hard earned money with zero help from the government’.

I almost had a personal encounter with a clueless solider. I had an international flight to catch and I was way behind the late virgins from the Parable of The Ten Virgins in the bible – I am pointing out the fact that it was an international flight, so you have an idea of the money spent which I wouldn’t have been able to provide for another ticket had I missed that flight. So I hopped on a bike from Obalende to Ikeja airport o! That's a 20km journey on okada! See fear!!! In fact, my heart acted funny few days ago but I thought to myself, if I didn’t die that fateful day I hopped on that bike, it means I cannot die young. Anyway, so about 100metres away from the airport, some man stopped us and was asking why I had a camouflage bag, that wasn’t even the same pattern or quality of material as the military. I didn’t say a word, I who was dealing with anxiety from all the swerving I’d passed through that day. It turned out my bike guy was a military man, and that was how I was allowed to go. Thinking of it now, no wonder the soldiers were so offended by the muscular and fit young man, because the soldier that stopped me looked like I could slap him to yonder had we been in a secluded place by ourselves.

These military men ought to be called to order as soon as possible. I for one, do not feel safe with them around. I remember my cousin telling me the story of how she was almost kidnapped. While running away from the kidnappers, she saw police officers and knew the kidnappers would only need to offer the officers 2 thousand Naira; which is equivalent to $4, and she is theirs. She kept running till she found farmers from the community, then the kidnappers fled. And these are the people who are meant to protect us from our adversaries?

Please help share till someone in power gets this and hopefully, something is done.

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