Military Assaults: The Underlying Effect on Citizens

The Nigerian Army was first founded in 1863, when Lt Glover of the Royal Navy selected 18 indigenes from the Northern part of the country and organized them into a local force, known as the “Glover Hausas”.

The independence in 1960  renamed the Nigerian army from Nigeria Military Force,(NMF), into the Royal Nigerian Army (RNA) and later into the Nigerian Army, (NA).

Nigerian army: Military Assaults: The Underlying Effect on Citizens
070403-N-6901L-011 Maradi, Niger (April 3, 2007) – Nigerian soldiers from the 322nd Parachute Regiment line up in formation before participating in target practice facilitated by U.S. Army soldiers during Operation Flintlock 2007.
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Since its establishment as a dependable military group,the country has relied on it corporate operational values to defend it borders and citizenry.

These attributes of combantant flare, had earned it, lots of respect across the civil avalanche.

Until early 80s, you will hardly find a military personnel on the common corridor of the civil collection.

But today, Innumerable common Nigerians attempting to make precarious endmeans as Lecturers, Journalists, Engineers, Medical Practioners, Taxi drivers, market traders and Others are accosted on a daily basis by Armed Military officers who are also in a hurry to drive a security or Personal Course.

Over the years, this unwieldy force—Africa’s largest—has proved difficult to effectively manage and control and has become largely unaccountable to the citizens it is meant to serve.

Those charged with Nigerian Army oversight, discipline, and reform have for years, failed to take effective action, thereby reinforcing impunity for  officers of all ranks who regularly perpetrate crimes against the citizens they are mandated to protect.

Far too often these threats(assaults) are carried out on Victims  with  those responsible for the action not allowed to face the consequences

The bullies on traffic jams, and public utilities have all been linked to human rights violations by the military.

Perpetually, it’s a daily reoccurring decimal in Ekewuan and Ugbowo Road axis, in Edo state, and Victims are locked in their own fears of getting more harrassed and probably dehumanized.

Families have been secretly tutured for no reason and are often helpless, knowing the oppressors are wearing an Army Uniform.

Others across the city hub are also complaining of erratic behaviours of the men in uniform.

The recent incident being the one against a university of Benin (UNIBEN) lecturer who had to undergo eye surgery to correct the damage done on him.

This has left a wild margin of vacuum between the civilian and the military, thereby, given room for the later, to shootdown anyone who dares them over their untoward righteousness.

They are never wrong in all entirety. They believe everyone has no right to question their misdeeds forgetting no one is above the law.

The only reason Nigerians leave in fears are because they are not privy to charges under article 128 of the Uniform Code.

Assault Charges as defined Under Article 128 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), inform us that, assault is a serious offense that may be punishable by Court Martial. 

A service member convicted of assault by Court Martial may face a minimum of 3-months of confinement and forfeiture of 2/3 of pay for 3-months contingent on the circumstances of the assault, whether a weapon was used.

In more serious assault cases, maximum penalties may include confinement for up to 10-years and a dishonorable discharge.

Consequently, a military charge of Assault and Battery is the commonly used term when someone both assaults and causes harm to a person. An “assault and battery” charge in the armed forces can carry serious, career-altering consequences, sometimes resulting in an Article 32 Investigation which might then lead to a General Courts Martial.

Incidents of Physical assault continue to be highlighted in the media without actions on perpetrators.  

One area where the government must take clear and convincing action to stop its occurrence is in the military.

Not only does it hurt the victim, but it additionally, increases risk  of equity to life which undermines human rights violations.

All military branches have made it clear that an assault on anyone is never acceptable, but more definitive action will be required before soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines feel safe within their own ranks.

However, many incidents involve a perpetrator who is senior in rank to the victim.

The primary perpetrator 94% of the time, against both men and women, is a male who acted alone.

In most cases, the perpetrator was a member of the military, and was known by the victim.

Sadly, less than only one third of civilian victims report the assault. However, the number of reports have quadrupled since the military put into effect several steps in 2005 to help the accused.

Key among these changes is a “Restricted” reporting choice made by the victim which maintains confidentiality, while giving the victim to access to advocacy services, medical/counseling help, and legal assistance.

“Unrestricted” reporting triggers an official law enforcement investigation, access to all supportive services, and notification to the chain of command.

Although these steps have been helpful, many claim they do not go far enough to protect victims concerned about retaliation, and fair prosecution.

The soldier must trust there will be no retribution, or being passed over for promotion just because they spoke up. Anything less is destructive.

The Nigerian military is not alone in these concerns. 

Physical assault is a pervasive problem in armed forces across the globe. Any nation with gender integrated forces are grappling with unacceptable levels of physical and sexual assaults including Ukraine, France and the UK.

All are searching for their own solutions to these problems.

The military must be more aggressive in its action to reduce the level it is now because it’s a very respected institution.

The foutheen principles of management has in it, discipline; which is the core mandate of the military orientation that is gradually dissipating.

I wonder what has become of civility in their actions, according to thomas hobbs narratives, where live is turned nasty, brutish, short and solitary.

Physical assault on citizenry undermines trust in leadership, mission focus, and operational readiness. 

Civil Society must have total confidence on its Military Service members for protection, even willing to sacrifice their lives for them.

That should be the true meaning of “I got your six.”  as used in the US military Force.

Anything less than the highest principles, jeopardize the lives of everyone even in the military team.

Our service members are called upon to sacrifice everything when they volunteer to defend the defenseless.

The leadership of the Nigerian Army, must continue to drive orientation Programs that will produce the rightness of a combatant and Gallant operatives who will only ventilate his anger on enemies of the country not those they are assigned to give protections.

These actions would go a long way in protecting victims, prosecuting perpetrators and restoring trust within our armed forces.

Because the army  only make up just one percent of the population.  It is up to us, the remaining 99%, to let them know “we have your six.”

Any delays in justice, further harm victims, weakens our defense and put us all in harm’s way and That will be a risk none of us should ever stand for.

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