The primary responsibility of the military is to defend the constitution and the territorial integrity of the country. Their tough and rigorous training is designed to build their enduring capacity demanded by their calling. That is what differentiates them from civilians. That is why they are confined to the barracks except when on duty.
Nigerians and indeed the world watched with shock and disgust the sub-human treatment meted out to citizen Amari Sunday, by a group of army cadets in Abuja. The young man’s ordeal was seen on a video recording which went viral on the Internet.
In what appeared to be a premeditated display of barbarity, according to Amari’s narration, the army cadets, including two females, had stormed the Jabi Lake Park where he (Amari) works as a Park ‘N Pay employee of the Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (SURE P). He initially incurred the wrath of one of them for failing to walk up to the cadets within five seconds . His ordeal was compounded when he could not get to one of the female cadets within three seconds when she also summoned him due to the distance.
In the video, Amari was repeatedly slapped in the face, dealt heavy blows on the head, kicked severally and dragged on the ground by his shirt’s collar. For about twenty minutes, he was made to sit backwards with his stretched hands and legs suspended. At the end of the raw bestiality, Amari was left with a bruised, and bloodied face. Wallowing in tears and self-pity, his colleagues later took him to the hospital.
While we commend Amari’s courage for speaking up on a live-television show and the bravery of the unknown person that recorded the mindless torture, we demand that the episode should not be treated as another case of “mad dogs” and be left to go without due disciplinary action being meted to the erring cadets.
This incident portrayed the Army in a very bad light. We, therefore, call on the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) authorities to assiduously conclude the investigation which their spokesman assured had been ordered, to ensure that this brazen display of unethical conduct is not repeated. The cadets involved in this despicable act must be identified and punished to serve as a deterrent to others.
Just as the civilian populace needs the military for their defence and protection, the civilians remain the mainstay of the military. Every soldier was once a civilian and will retire back to the civilian population after service.
There must be mutual regard between the two sides at all times. The Army should apologise to Amari Sunday and officially distance itself from the barbaric acts of those misguided cadets.