All Around Nigeria

Many Nigerian Soldiers are Basic Bullies

Last Saturday,  the 19th of March 2016,  anyone travelling along Aba-Ikot Ekpene Road early in the morning until around noon,  would have witnessed this bizarre sight gross abuse of power.

At Ikot Umoh Essien,  the border-land between Akwa Ibom and Abia states,  soldiers stopped buses and ordered the all the passengers in those buses who were young men,  to come down and cut grasses. 

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Nigerian soldiers ordering young men to come down from buses and cut grass at their station/checkpoint.

That place is their post and was overgrown with weeds.  Rather than pay legitimate workers or even the young men of the community to cut the grass,  they resorted to this abuse of authority and free labour from Nigerian citizens who were on their way to various destinations.

The passengers of the buses whose young men refuse to do this manual labour,  we’re fined hundred naira each for culasses,  before they were allowed to continue on their journey.

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This is what the area looked like after several young men had cleared it.

This is one of the reasons why Nigerian soldiers are feared but not respected.  This kind of soldiers are worse than touts. Last month,  a video went viral of female and male cadets at the Defence Academy beating up a young man because he dared to tell on of the female cadets that she was pretty.  Just imagine!

As we clamour for change,  it is my hope that the Army will be one of the sectors that gets a thorough purging. From bullying fellow drivers off the roads when in their noisy convoys to beating innocent citizens,  asking them to do from jumps and threatening to shoot them, we say enough is enough. 

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7 thoughts on “Many Nigerian Soldiers are Basic Bullies”

  1. So sad. So discouraging.So it seemed they stopped only buses, not private vehicles. I guess it is easier to prey on those perceived to be less privileged. It also makes fresh a recent experience I had on a visit home with my parents. A group of soldiers tried to manhandle my brother. They tried to shakara my parents but it was not until my dad started all his phoneh & demanded that we take it to the US embassy because they were violating our rights, that the soldier man calmed down. That broke my heart. It mattered more to soldier that he might be in trouble for assaulting a US citizen, than the fact that we were in fact Nigerian citizens, which we also made very clear (na for naija dem born and raised us oo.). I was distraught but realized that we were blessed on that day too. The thing could have gone another way, the way he kept waving the barrel of his gun at my brother. I could not get over that distressed feeling for the rest of the trip. I still shudder at the thought of what might have happened if my brother & I were alone on that day.

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  2. This post just reminded me of somewhere in Ayo Sogunro’s book – Everything In Migeria Will Kill You, he not only succinctly talks about how almost anybody can become a soldier but that they are not paid enough with money – what they are paid with is power (usually to ‘terrorise’ civilians). Interesting point made.

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