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Disquiet in barracks over movement restriction

By Albert Akpor
PALPABLE air of anger is currently blowing across army formations in the country following a restriction order on the movements of personnel in and around the barracks.

Source said the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Paul Dike, in conjunction with the Chief of Army Staff,  Lieutenant- General Abdulrahman Dambazzau,  had placed a 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. restriction on movements of personnel within barracks to checkmate the activities of some officers perceived to have been embroiled in politics of the day.

Although CDS was quoted as saying,“the Nigerian Army will never depart from the chosen path of honour, instead we must defend democracy at all times|,” thereby assuring Nigerians that the Nigerian Army will remain in the barracks doing its constitutional responsibility of protecting the nation’s territorial integrity; feelers are that some personnel are not happy with the restriction order.

In Lagos, sources hinted that the grumbling among officers is rife at the Ikeja Military Cantonment where, though the Mammy Market had been concessioned to a private company, the officers maintained that their wives who are assisting their families through petty sales from the make-shift markets beside the modern stalls have been affected by the order.

According to an officer who pleaded  anonymity, “now that they say we should not move after 6 p.m. and that our wives should close shops the same time, how do we socialise?

“Before now, the market used to be a place where we relax after the day’s hard job and by extension, our wives through sales assist us with their little sales; but since the restricted movement order, we have not been finding things easy.”

Efforts to get the reaction of the Director of Army Information, Brigadier-General Chris Olukolade, failed as his phone rang severally unanswered.  But a sources close to his office described the grumbling as unfounded, saying the restriction order was for the interest of the nation.

“If you are following reports of the Jos crisis, you would notice that people are accusing some sections of the military of fuelling the crisis and deploying troops to attack a section; but this is not true. The step taken is for the good of the nation and so anybody who is not happy with the orders of CDS and CAS should go and hit his head on the wall,” the source said.


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