The Nigerian Army has been called upon to concentrate on their duty of protecting the territorial integrity of Nigeria rather than harassing Nigerians and road users.
The call was made by the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore, when he rescued five men from harassment by men of the Nigerian Army along the Lagos Ibadan Expressway.
In the viral video which captured the incident on social media, Sowore is seen approaching the scene of the incident after which he said “my name is Omoyele Sowore, a presidential candidate in this 2019 election. I saw that Nigerians are being made to lie on the street and I want to find out what happened”.
Explaining the situation , a Lieutenant who is also Reverend Father in the Army who was overseeing the harassment said “as you can see that’s our convoy, these idiots where driving behind the vehicle even when they blew the siren, all of them, these old men kept following us. We were going out, we are going to pick a big man, all of them they were just charging behind”.
Sowore responding said “I completely understand, you are military officers going to pick someone. So, my advice to you is that can you make them sit down because of the dignity of their human person. I am worried about the dignity of their person. My advice to you is that you use the police”.
Narrating his account of the incident Sowore said “we were returning from redemption camp when we saw grown men being made to lie on the street while being harassed. One had suffered a cut to his arm so I immediately stopped and asked what was wrong; they said they were going to pick a big man and the men were driving too closely behind them”.
“You see this is the problem with our Army, instead of defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria, they are harassing civilians. When they found out we were recording them, they physically attacked our team members but I stood my ground and they eventually freed the men. Turns out they had seized the ID’s of the men who were OPC members and were already planning to lock them up at a detention facility. It is wrong; the civilian population should be managed by the police even if they have committed an offence. Why are people made to lie in the dust for traffic offences? Don’t we have laws”? Sowore said.
He called on Nigerians to always speak up against injustice, confront the situation and record such incidents with their handheld device so as to serve as a deterrent to others.