By Peter Okolie
Onitsha (NAN) The Nigerian Army says it has arrested two Military Police officials who allegedly maltreated a physically challenged person on New Market Road, Onitsha, on Feb. 7. The physically challenged wore army camouflage uniform.
Col. Sagir Musa, the Deputy Director, Public Relations, 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, who disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.
Musa said that the action of the two soldiers did not reflect the attitude of today’s soldiers under the leadership of Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai.
The statement reads in part: “The attention of the Headquarters 82 Division, Nigerian Army, has been drawn to a video clip of two military police maltreating a physically challenged person.
“The Division has with great concern studied the video, identified and arrested the perpetrators of this gross professional misconduct. It is our position that their action does not reflect the attitude of today’s soldiers under the leadership of Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai.
“The action is uncalled for, unwarranted and is therefore condemnable by all civilised people or organisations. The soldiers have been tried at the unit level and referred to higher level for appropriate punishment commensurable to the offence,” Musa said.
According to him, the Army has always preached tolerance, respect for others and peaceful coexistence.
The spokesman said that the Army of today had consistently maintained zero tolerance for indiscipline and human rights violation among soldiers.
“Whatever human right infraction is seen, appropriate sanction will be applied to serve as deterrence to others; this case will not be an exception,” Musa assured.
Meanwhile, a human rights body, Justice and Peace Foundation, has condemned the action of the two military police, describing it as inhuman.
The foundation Chairman, Mr Dede Uzor, while commending the Nigerian Army for arresting the perpetrators, called for a robust relationship between the army and civilians.
Uzor urged the Army to always be in touch with civilians by organising forum, workshops and seminars, public debate, among others to promote understanding and avoid similar experience.