Army camouflage

This is a small mercy given many things that Nigerians are going through these days, but one that restores a bit of hope in public officers.

Nigerian soldiers have very bad reputations for taking law into their own hands, people don’t want to mess with them as they have guns.

The other day I saw a video clip of Chijoke Uraku, a crippled man based in Onitsha being brutalised by two soldiers, Corporal Bature Samuel and Corporal Abdulazeez Usman in the middle of the street.

Chijoke’s sin? He wore a camouflage shirt. Wearing camouflage is an offence in Nigeria, soldiers are uptight about this as they feel civilian can disguise to commit crimes while pretending to be a soldier . I have seen too many people being publicly flogged for this reason by the soldiers. The thing is, there are plenty of ways for people to purchase a camouflage wear if people really wanted to one, either from second-hand shops or from out of country or can be hands me down – how much choice does one have if camouflage shirt is the only piece of clothing available to wear?

The army did not consider his disability, they dragged him off his wheel chair and the two soldiers descended upon him. It is only one minute video, it was too upsetting even for my poor eyes to finish.

That happened on a broad day light, why didn’t these soldiers think of a likelihood of them being video taped and reported? I bet they saw people videoing but they were too high on something or perhaps they were super confident they would get away with it.

This evening a press release says both Corporal Bature Samuel and Corporal Abdulazeez Usman were arrested, tried based on two counts charges (assault and violation of human rights) and both found guilty.

Verdict – both were demoted to Private soldiers and 21 days imprisonment with hard labour and no pay for those days.

This was a swift action by the Nigeria army and one that restores a bit of hope with public officers.

Goodluck to Mr Chijoke Uraku.



Categories: Nigeria

Tags: , ,

10 replies

  1. Dear Folakemi,

    Thanks for this heartening story which is highly unusual as things generally go in Nigeria. It shows there may yet be hope.

    Regards,
    TOLA.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sure those who are calling for Biafra will make considerable political mileage with this. A poor Igbo man being brutalised by northeners. Why couldn’t they just talk to the man?
    My point is this, from what you said the rights of the disabled are not respected. The soldiers should be dismissed, the army should pay for the rehabilitation of the man and offer him a full public apology. I’ve never seen such a thing happen before. In the West disabled are treated (in general) with due care and respect – everyone is ultra careful with them, so this was shocking. I’m pretty sure in other parts of the world, disabled people are not treated like that. The law and the army’s code of conduct need to be significantly ramped up and respected regarding disabled rights.
    In the West you are not even allowed to beat animals like that, it is called ‘animal cruelty’, yet here we see a whole human being being treated like this. We are a long long way from anything remotely resembling ‘civilisation’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you jco for the thoughtful input. The truth is civilisation and Nigeria often is a world apart.

      See there are many odds against disabled in Nigeria, most people in the community will pity but that still does not take the superstitions away.
      This gentleman case looks like a case of a polio as he seems to be okay, however, even if he is autistic or any other disability people tend to not care much either, those stay indoors and rarely seeing in public.

      Generally we don’t know how to deal with people that are different.

      The only time you’d see disabled people being cared for is during election campaigns where they’d line them up to show how much we care – in general our attitude to disabled people is appalling. I know more about this as my nephew had hydrocephalus that impairs his learning.

      I read that some good people are lending hands to Chijoke Uraku now.

      Agree, those guys deserve to loose their jobs, but see, some people (I read on Punch) even think that punishment is too harsh – sums up how close we are to civilisation.

      Like

      • Enlightenment is definitely on the ‘slow boat’ to Nigeria. This is the age of mass communications, you can transmit data from one end of the earth to the other in an instant. We can view programs and observe societies different from our own, people are traveling like never before; yet such attitudes still pervade that society.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank goodness for social media as it gets viral pretty fast and resulting in guilty being punished. It is sad and indeed all the best to the poor chap who suffered under the hands of those awful people.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fola I saw the video and it was terrible. Thank the Lord it was videoed and those soldiers were caught and punished. I think what is happening here and in the US, these actions are being videoed and seen by a lot of people but the perpetrators get off without real punishment. How can anyone feel safe when the authorities allow this to happen?
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

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