When did the Nigerian Army become a menace? By: Peregrino Brimah

There have been too many putrid reports of gross
incompetence, recklessness, inefficiency all the way to frank
support and assistance to Boko Haram, in the Nigerian military
engagement in the devastated northeast. Global media and US
hearings have all highlighted treacherous conduct of our men
in uniform. Army helicopters have been reported giving cover to
terrorists and supplying them. And if we did not believe this,
the series of Nigerian army APC’s, light weight tanks and
stashes of ammunition that Boko Haram displays in their
background in their videos is enough evidence of the betrayal
of the Nigerian army and its support of terror. This last
bastion of hope in Nigeria has become our greatest burden, now
directly and indirectly aiding terror.
If we felt too far away from the plagued northeast and entire
north by extension to notice the menace the army has become,
we were directly informed of it, or dare we say, uninformed
when our newspapers were seized from newspaper stands,
depots and trucks for several days this past June. It was
barbarism at its finest. The army raided our dailies and made
bonfires out of them claiming they were acting ‘on orders from
above.’ [Na di burn, burn, na him dey sweet them pass, – Sage
Fela ]
But the janjaweed behavior of our new berserk military was
hardly fully appreciated. Barely a month after going crazy on
the dailies, upon hearing that a Lagos state mass transit BRT
bus driver had accidentally run over a military man on bike,
perhaps riding on a BRT restricted lane, our dear mad military
‘took no prisoners,’ they burned the buses! They offloaded
close to a dozen BRT transport buses worth millions and broke
them to pieces and set them on fire. Yes, unthinkable,
unimaginable but true; in Nigeria. The military took out their
anger on the public transport buses. And knowing that their
actions were insanely shameful and criminal, passerbys were
told to raise their hands up so as not to record the incident on
their phones. They were conscious of their crimes. While Nigeria licked its wounds; while we lamented our abducted
girls, 100 days with Boko Haram with a dysfunctional military
unable to have prevented their abduction, rescued them
immediately, rescued then days after or rescued them 100
days after; while we lamented thousands killed monthly and
millions displaced; the massacre of Gamboru-Ngala; the loss of
Damboa to Boko Haram and the blowing up of bridges linking
Borno to our neighbors and the loss of power to Maiduguri as
rag-tag, jungle hiding Boko Haram miscreant bandits
continued to show superiority over the nations men in uniform
on a quarter of the nation’s budget, the army struck again!
A peaceful procession that has held same time every year for
decades was ambushed. Yes, like the LRA, is it – Joseph Kony
rebel forces, the Nigerian army could not, according to
reports, have patience for the legal procession to pass, they,
again, perhaps on orders from above, rained bullets on the
Muslim civilians. And for whatever reason, which defies logic
and debars this incident of justifiable denial of intent, they
selected three out of its leader’s sons and executed them. How
did the military find only the leaders sons of thousands of
protesters? According to the bereaved father, two sons who
just came visiting from school abroad for the festive period
were taken away alive and executed summarily as tanks were
rolled out to meet the procession. The Presidency never admits
responsibility for the terrorizing and treacherous actions of
the military, yet they claim they are always acting on orders
from above; so who is it above that lacks a head that has
turned our nation’s military into this hopeless assembly of
terror thugs and rebel bandits? Is this what looting of billions
of dollars does to a nation? Is this the result of executive and
top military leadership massive corruption? Do these men still
deserve the uniforms on their backs and the right to bear
arms?

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