Thursday, 18 September 2014

The Nigerian Army and the Mutiny

Some months ago, some Nigerian soldiers staged a mutiny when they open fire at the convoy of a GOC in Maiduguri. No doubt, this is a grave offense in the military and against the state. Consequently, this week, these soldiers were sentenced to death. When I read this judgment, I was filled with mixed reactions. On the one hand, I concurred that insubordination by soldiers who are expected to be 100 percent loyal and disciplined should not be tolerated, thus any culprits should be dealt with according to appropriate laws, because this will go a long way to ensure discipline and loyalty among ranks and files of the nation’s army. On the other hand, it is very imperative to look into some of the reasons or factors that triggered this rebellion or mutiny by these soldiers. What should be said of a commander giving wrong directives leading to avoidable deaths among soldiers? It is worrisome not only to the soldiers but also to concerned citizens, that a senior commanding officer of the Nigerian army can be giving conflicting orders to a troop under his command. And such orders had been confirmed to have aided atrocious activities of Bokom Haram bandits thereby leading to the killings of some members of the troop. Also can it be said that the Commander is an agent of Bokom Haram. How could his directives be anti-state? Has any investigation been carried out to prove or it’s otherwise of some of the allegations against him and other cohorts? Reportedly, today, the GOC was said to have been dismissed from the Nigerian army. Is that the punishment appropriate to his offence? What punishment should be put in place to ensure professional codes of conduct among senior officers? What should be put in place to ensure that members of the Nigerian army are not aiding the insurgents?

If these mutinied soldiers are being sentenced to death; what is being done to arrested Bokom Haram members? What is happening to Bokom Haram’s sponsors? What is government doing to bring back the Chibok’s girls? What are the plans of stopping insurgency in Nigeria as a whole? These are some of the fundamental questions that are begging for answers.

Generally Speaking, military authorities in Nigeria and the Federal government must look for ways to instill discipline into ranks and files of the army; also, efforts must be put in place to motivate the army with state-of-the-arts weaponry; and the political will must be put in place to establish an effective system towards fighting the insurgency ravaging the North eastern axis of this country.

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