INCIDENCE of assaults by military personnel against civilians is rising again in Jos, leaving a stain on Nigeria’s march to a truly free society. From Jos, Plateau State, reports are frequent of military personnel shooting the citizens they were recruited, trained, equipped and paid to protect. Leaders and civil society at every level should take a resolute stand today to end impunity by undisciplined soldiers.
The lawlessness of some officers and soldiers is so pathetic. A video clip trending online shows sporadic gunshots fired at civilians(University of Jos students).
At a time of security threats, a country’s military needs the full moral support of the citizens. With our troops battling an insurgency by terrorists in the country, the Military High Command should rein in the excesses of undisciplined misfits in the services. Military authorities should promptly investigate complaints of rights violations instead of instinctive denials.
Discipline and decorum in public should start from officers. Commanders should impose maximum permissible punishment on officers who violate others’ human rights to pass a strong message to soldiers and ratings that dare do so. President Muhammadu Buhari should back his promise to enforce respect for human rights by soldiers with action.
A democratic society requires a citizen army and the deviants, sadists and thugs within the armed forces should be identified, penalized and flushed out.
Reports from eyewitnesses in Jos below;