Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA) on Sunday, raises the alarm over growing indiscipline within the Nigerian Army as over 500 soldiers and military officers have been court-martialled in the last 32 months, especially in Nigeria’s terrorist-ravaged North-East theatre of war.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, called for urgent retraining of members of the Nigerian Army and a comprehensive personnel audit to instil professional excellence amongst soldiers and commissioned officers. HURIWA blames increasing indiscipline and lack of professionalism within the Nigerian military for the massive upsets being suffered by the nation in the war on terror against a largely ragtag Islamic rebels and terror gangsters.
Recall that no fewer than 501 Nigerian Army personnel have been court-martialled for various offences across the country including corruption, manslaughter and sexual abuse.
The figures were based on collated media reports between November 2019 and July 1, 2022.
Reacting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The high number of soldiers and military officers facing charges of professional misconduct and indiscipline is worrisome. It is signposts danger in the system. We are worried also that the use of extrajudicial killings of civilians in the South East of Nigeria by the Army, the DSS and the Nigerian police Force has made Nigeria appear like a failed state whereby MIGHT IS RIGHT.
“To have this high number undergoing disciplinary measures shows that there is a loose end somewhere in the current Army’s hierarchy which ought to be tidied up. This number is about the highest in any national army of any nation in the world facing disciplinary hearing. HURIWA said the current service Chiefs have abridged the communications between credible Civil rights leaders and groups unlike what obtained few years back under the same President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. The military chiefs must instill professional excellence amongst soldiers if we hope to defeat terrorism in Nigeria. Going to war with a bunch of guys that lack respect for professional codes and ethics and poor knowledge of the fundamental rights provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and the plethora of international laws means that Nigeria will fund it pretty tough to put out the flames of violence burning around and across the Country.
“This shows a considerable amount of broken-down systems in the enlistment. HURIWA calls on the Army to uphold its standards in the recruitment and training of these soldiers. The Army must be the Nigerian Army and not a section of a bunch of tribal warlords.
“The Army must fundamentally restructure its training and recruitment units so the best brains and potentially ethical officers would be recruited. Root cause of indiscipline like poor salary and unpaid allowances should be looked into if there is any. Those who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder should be immediately attended to for timely management of their mental health. Soldiers who die fighting for Nigeria must be treated as national heroes and the wellbeing and welfare of their families adequately taken care of by the Federal Government of Nigeria as a right and not mere privilege of calling a press conference and dashing out KOBO-KOBO CHEQUES BY ARMY CHIEF OF STAFF OR IGP. The structure of compensations for those soldiers who die fighting to make us stay safe should be legally set up and seamlessly administered by corruption free bureaucratic processes.
“There is also an urgent need for a comprehensive personnel audit by the Army to instil professional excellence amongst their members.”
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).
July 24, 2022