I know a lot have been written about this issue but I think it is not too much until things really change. This is not just an isolated case; it is happening everyday around the country. The military believe we are still in their authoritarian rule where things like, horse whipping and beatings are the order of the day but fortunately things have changed. We have been in democratic dispensation for 9 years now and I wonder what the military men are doing in the streets.
In most developed world you can count how many times you see military vehicles on the streets except maybe close to their barracks or areas where the vehicles are being repaired or buying petrol. They normally take an oath to serve and protect their countries which include the citizens in it. They should realize they are there to protect us not the other way round and you know the saying about getting out of the kitchen if it is too hot. If they are not too happy to take the oath then find another job. They are supposed to be the most disciplined members of society but what do you see, arrogant, mindless, ill trained men manhandling a lady to the extent of stripping her naked.
They should realize they are not above the law, civil or military. The fact that siren is blowing behind you does not mean you should just get of the road without thinking which if you don’t you could in the process cause an accident. You have to think first, checking where the noise is coming from and then see if it is possible to move for the vehicle with the siren to pass. Driving tests involve Mirror, Signal and Manoeuvre, these processes involving thinking. I have been involved in situations like this in England where the Police, Ambulance or Fire Service (mind you no military vehicles) are coming behind you with their sirens blowing away, I have to make sure the way is clear for me to move because I don’t want to end up creating another scene by hitting a car or a pedestrian. Just thinking of it, if Rear Admiral Harry Arogundade’s convoy was such in a hurry, have they wondered how much time was spent manhandling the lady rather getting to their destination on time.
The military indiscipline is not just on the roads, it is happening everywhere and because the top which is supposed to show good example don’t even know what good example is so the bottom is just rotten. Some few years ago in Benin, a policeman came to question a man about an offence, the next thing was the man running in doors and coming out with this ugly, dirty looking army uniform and saying the police should try and arrest him. Another incident happened at Abuja airport. I was with my little kids in the queue and this Air Force man came barging in and in the process my trolley hit him. He looked at me and said why did I let my trolley hit him, my reply was even if he did not have respect for me as a human being what of the innocent little kids which he should having been helping and off course if he had obeyed the queuing process this would not have happened. He just looked at me and it then dawn on him he had done something wrong and just walked away.
They should remember Fela’s saying “uniform an cloth na tailor de sew am” I have seen the incident with Ms Uzoma Okere; it was callous and barbaric which have no place in present day society. I was really ashamed and just imagine how many people have seen it. These people should realise with digital camera, camera phone nothing is hidden anymore. For Rear Admiral Arogundade to make a comment later that “she was lucky to still be alive” is a total disgrace, it shows the amount of masochistic pleasure they get during training. I wonder if he is married, the wife should ask him if he will be happy if something like that happened to her or his daughter if he has any.
It has come to the time for everybody to treat others the way we would like to be treated. The abuse of Sirens has reached unacceptable proportions. Just about everybody now uses sirens that even the emergency services because we hardly have any uses sirens anymore. This is also causing great environmental pollution. I think all State Governments should follow the lead of Lagos State Governor by banning unnecessary use of sirens except for the emergency services and a national law passed to stop this abuse. I hope this lady exercises her right to seek redress in the law courts for the assault on her and the naval men go through their military disciplinary procedure and their so called leader heavily reprimanded by his boss or the Federal Government because this is not why we accepted them as naval officers. I know I can always dream.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters