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We the people of Nigeria demand that the Federal government respect the constitution and obey the principles of civilized societies and modern democracy by taking the military off our streets.
On November 17th, according to media reports, Kwara state youths who had volunteered to repair a damaged road, blocked the Senator of the district from traversing it for his political purposes in protest of his failure in the first instance. In response, soldiers 'drafted to him' released volleys on the protesting youth. Media reports that another contingent of troops was again sent to continue the carnage. At least 4 citizens were killed and numerous injured in the aftermath.
The massacre in Kwara state was the latest of now routine episodes of massacres of innocent civilians in the now militarized Nigerian state.
Armed-forces personnel are trained to "engage and destroy," while the police, otherwise called civil authorities or peace officers are trained to "protect and serve."
Nigeria's military now routinely on police and political thug duty have increasingly become involved in various crimes against humanity and God. Rather than invite the police when they meet youth protest as the law demands, the "above the law" soldiers simply offload volleys at the youth and then often time bury them en masse in secret and deny the incident. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_pjqQD4YCw
The Umuahia massacre this September, of over 20 people with several still missing; the December 2015 Zaria massacre of hundreds of minority Muslims after a protest, the Abia and Onitsha 2016 massacres of pro-Biafra and self-determination Igbo youth, are some of an increasing list of massacres and violations by Nigerian soldiers on 'police duty.' Soldiers have also been accused of beating up journalists and breaking their equipment.
There is no role for soldiers in policing the state. Civilized society never has armed soldiers on streets. Soldiers are not trained in quelling protests and lack the equipment to keep the peace. They lack teargas, water cannons and hand cuffs. Soldiers are not able to make arrests as they lack the capacity to draft charges to be presented at court.
Battle-weathered and weary troops from Sambisa forest can only be expected to offload on citizens as though they are Boko Haram terrorists.
Nigeria's constitution is clear on the role of the military in defense from external aggression, to quell insurrection and act as a back up and not in replacement of the police. The amplification of the duties of the military, now delegated as the police of the state has caused the depreciation of the police who have consequently been ranked the "worst in the world." This while further stretching an already battle-worn out military beyond its limits, in contravention of best military practice. Soldiers are over-stretched while being not or under paid. Morale is low and the psychologically exhausted soldiers are more prone to wanton acts against citizens, fellow soldiers and themselves. The murder of his superior and himself by a serving soldier is a latest reference.
The "show of force" by Nigerian soldiers is an act of terror according to Nigerian anti-terrorism laws which prohibit as terrorism, any form of the use of force within the country, by civilians or the army. Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 as amended, Section I, sub section II Acts of terror include: "seriously intimidate a population."[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2dAVtUeyw8
Nigeria's police on the other hand have been re-assigned to merely being security guards of the affluent cabal and left to begging and intimidating the populace for bribes on the streets. This is unacceptable.
We therefore call on the Nigerian government to immediately return the soldiers to the barracks to rest and recover in honor and dignity, and upgrade the police to their proper status and role in peace keeping.
Contact Dr Perry Brimah: +1-929-427-5305; @CabalMustGo or www.CabalMustGo.com
- FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA
- Nigerian National Assembly
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