May 20, 2017
The Biafra Writers’ Forum, a media arm of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), under the leadership of Nnamdi Kanu wishes to condemn in its entirety, the brutal harassment and molestation of IPOB women who had peacefully convened for a general conference in Abiriba, Abia state by agents of the Nigerian army.
It was widely reported that the Nigerian army armed with sophisticated weapons invaded the Abiriba Stadium where these innocent women gathered for the conference and started molesting them in an unprofessional manner which resulted in the women going unclad.
While it was noted that the women conducted themselves in a highly respected and peaceful manner, we wondered what the Nigerian security operatives wishes to gain by defying all ethics and swooping and illegally arresting unarmed women merely exercising their rights to freedom of assembly.
One wonders what threat or danger the women posed to the Nigerian government and residents of Abia state such that will warrant the ill-mannered and brutal treatment meted out on these women if not that the Nigerian army out of sheer ignorance and disregard to the rule of law, deliberately acted to disrupt their activities.
Across the country, allegations of abuses including arbitrary arrests and detention, torture, forced disappearance, and extrajudicial killings continue to trail security operations in Nigeria yet the authorities are unperturbed by the growing concerns of threat to lives and gross violation of human rights by the Nigerian security agencies.
According to Maurice de Saxe who talked about military discipline, he explained that “after the organisation of troops, military discipline is the first matter that presents itself. It is the soul of armies. If it is not established with wisdom and maintained with unshakable resolution you will have no soldiers….” Regrettably, the Nigerian security agents especially the army lacks all traits of discipline in their operations. They continued to act in a barbaric and uncultured manner that one doubts if they actually undergo any form of training.
The military law which they supposedly upheld, is the corpus of laws and regulations made exclusively for the members of the Armed Forces. Lt-General AB Dambazau (Rtd) in his book, Military Law Terminologies defined military law as a body of rules which regulate the conduct of members of the Armed Forces. Thus, the main objective of military law is to ensure discipline, good and ethical conduct of the Armed Forces.
But it is rather unfortunate that the Nigerian Armed Forces exhibits disregard to these established laws in their operations. To unnecessarily swoop on armless women merely exercising their rights to freedom of Assembly is a total breach to their fundamental rights and a disrespect to the law which established them.
What offence has these women committed to warrant their illegal arrest and detention? When Amnesty International and other human rights organizations starts reporting about the callousness and brutality of the Nigerian army, they will begin to kick against it whereas they throw caution to the wind during operation. But now, I hope the world is taking note of the unprofessional and barbaric act of these soldiers as to be able to stand in a better position to give a good account should something go wrong in the future.
Peace and unity cannot be sustained with lethal guns and bullets. Therefore it is counter-productive in hoping to achieve peace through violent means. A country where injustice and ruthlessness is the order of the day is doomed for failure.
By Chukwuemeka Chimerue
Published By Nwosu C.S
For Biafra Writers