I was going to make a post on the series of terror attacks around the country this week until I saw this photo
on the front page of the Saturday Sun with the caption SOLDIERS GONE WILD.
Incase you can’t read the news here, I’ll highlight the significant aspects.
1. A soldier was riding a bike on the highway.
2. A BRT (State Rapid Mass Transit Scheme) bus left its designated lane and swerved onto another lane.
3. The bus driver hit and allegedly killed the soldier on the bike.
4. Another soldier who apparently was a passenger on the bike (I sincerely doubt this) reported the matter at a nearby barrack.
5. Over a hundred soldiers trooped out of the barrack on to the street and started beating up commuters and vandalizing buses setting more than five buses on fire.
I was outraged (still am) by this news on so many levels. The soldier killed was not on duty. The avengers were not in the same battalion or platoon (or whatever else they call groups in the army) as the victim. This was not a revenge based on solidarity. It was just plain violence.
Besides, soldiers are supposed to be the protectors of lives and property. Instead of channelling all their resources towards ensuring security and safety of citizens they’re the ones terrorizing the people and destroying property.
Boko Haram has given the army a run for their money these past few months. After 81 days, they still haven’t made any headway in locating the abducted girls yet their response time to this issue was second to none. This tweep
In addition to vandalism, they beat up traffic officials and police officers that arrived on scene. The police area commander received a slap when he arrived to make inquiries. Mobile phones were confiscated from passers-by especially the ones trying to take pictures. Even members of the press on scene were accosted and their equipments destroyed.
Soldiers have on numerous occasions gunned down civilians on highways for as little as not shaking their hands (figuratively) and as much as running from checkpoints. They have caused numerous accidents on highways around the country. You do not see civilians taking up arms against them. Rather they trust the system to punish them. Even when it rarely does. Why then can’t the military do the same?
I also read that the soldier that was hit did not die. I could not determine If that was true.
There are so many things wrong with this country. I would not be surprised if these soldiers go unpunished and the lives lost (unsubstantiated) and property destroyed would be swept under the rug of things that happen. I doubt the Fashola-led Lagos state government would let the destruction of its property worth millions of naira slide.
Like We always ask, Which Way, Naija?
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