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Corper, Soldier engagement: You now waste time on frivolous issues – HURIWA to military

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Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA has reacted the current ordeal of a female soldier who recently got engaged to a corps member at the Yikpata Orientation Camp of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Kwara State.

The human rights group said the military hierarchy now waste a lot of time on frivolous issues.

Recall that a video of a male corps member proposing to a female soldier at the NYSC Camp recently surfaced online and went viral.

HURIWA said although media reports from a dependable media source maintained that the female soldier is not detained at a military incarceration facility but a safe guardroom where erring personnel are kept in the enforcement of disciplinary actions, it wondered why the private affairs of a female soldier and her would-be fiancee would become pivotal matters for official press release.

HURIWA noted that there are weighty issues of alleged burning down of a part of Oguta Local Government Area in Imo State and the reported attack in an Enugu community recently filmed by the aggressors from the Nigeria Army which are yet to be professionally investigated by the relevant authority.

The rights group wondered why alleged cases of sexual molestation and harassment of junior female soldiers by their officers are not so much a big issue that demands holistic investigations and redress for the victims of sexusl harassment, yet the show of love to a junior female officer by her fiance has dominated the attention of an entire department in the Army.

“We in the organised civil society community in Nigeria are scandalised that the public show of affection between a soldier and her lover boy NYSC Corper in Kwara State has forced the Army spokesperson, Onyema Nwachukwu, to waste precious resources to issue an official reaction saying that it is an act of indiscipline for a trainer to engage in an affair with her trainee,” HURIWA said in a statement signed by Emmanuel Onwubiko its National Coordinator.

HURIWA recalled with absolute disappointment that the Army places so much premium on dealing with such an insignificant case of indiscipline if any, than seek for a transparent process of Internally investigating unambiguous and glaring evidence of illegality of soldiers attacking an entire community resulting in the near-total burn down of a Imo community as a revenge for the dastardly criminal act of the murder of two privates in the Nigerian Army by some lawless armed hoodlums in Oguta.

“Imagine, the Nigerian Army is throwing her weight all over the media by asserting shamelessly that the female soldier in NYSC Camp in Kwara State who showed affection towards a youth Corps male members who professed love and readiness to marry her still the Army hierarchy argues that it has codes of conduct, rules and regulations guiding our personnel whenever and wherever they are deployed for duty.

“The thing to ask is why pay so much attention to little issues but cases of professional misconduct that brings global opprobrium to the institutional image of the military are being glossed over.

HURIWA said this is a pathetic embarrassment to the institution of the Army to devote this amount of time, energy and resources talking about a frivolity and abandoning serious matters with strategic negative impacts on the credibility and integrity of the Army”.

HURIWA said if the hierarchy of the Nigerian Army could spend such quality time it does on frivolous matters that lacks National importance and concentrate on the eradication of the use of torture and extrajudicial executions of innocent citizens by soldiers, then Nigerian Army could have successfully eradicated the menace of professional misconduct and criminality by soldiers during internal security operations.

HURIWA recalled that “no fewer than 10 persons were feared dead, few weeks ago as soldiers clashed with youths of Umuokwu Izombe community in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State.

“About 12 houses including the palace of the traditional ruler of the community, Eze Pius Muforo were reportedly burnt and 15 others destroyed.

“One Catherine Okebata and C. A. Onyeukwu were said to be among those whose houses were reportedly burnt.

“Similarly,  video that has now gone viral on social media shows Nigerian soldiers shooting indiscriminately at residents of Ochokwu village in the Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. Another of such dastardly criminal act by soldiers was also seen happened in another viral video from a community in Enugu State just as the Army said they were in hot pursuit of a member of the Eastern Security Network.

“The military authority has continued to behave like it is not aware that members of the public are complaining bitterly about a lot of cases of gross misconduct and criminality by soldiers including the violent killing of the Son of a policeman by soldiers in Edo State, the use of mass murder and attacks of civilian targets in their attempts to inflict revenge.

“The Chief of Army Staff must keep to his initial pledge to respect the human rights of citizens. These acts of criminality are the reason most people believed that repentant Boko haram terrorists were recruited into the Army and deployed to the South East of Nigeria”.