Large scale condemnation of the untamed utterances of a Nigerian soldier threatening via a video posting that went viral has led to his being tracked and arrested by the Nigerian Army authorities.
Social media was enraged by the soldiers public display of utter disrespect for womanhood promising to rape Delta State women and their daughters and spread HIV to them for allegedly killing a soldier in Warri over the on-going Coronavirus lockdown in the state.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, the Delta State governor had in an address in a quick reaction to the wide call for apprehension of the soldier captured with a colleague, pleaded for calm with a promise that the offending officer whose utterances confirms fears that women have been at the receiving end of conflicts, would be brought to book.
The Army finally tracked the duo in Lagos and announced through a press release, that they have been taken into custody while investigation has commenced.
Press statement by the Army read:
“Soldiers in a viral video using uncouth and uncivilized language purportedly threatening to molest women in Warri Delta State were arrested at 9 Brigade Ikeja Military Cantonment Lagos State today 3, April 2020 and further investigation is ongoing.
The general public should be assured that the investigations will be swift and fair in accordance with applicable military laws. The outcome of the investigations will determine the most appropriate disciplinary measures that can be taken in the circumstances.
The Nigerian Army wishes to reiterate that it would not tolerate any form of irresponsibility and indiscipline on the part of any personnel”.
Reacting to the arrests, a Facebook commentator stated:
“I feel happy that the soldiers have been apprehended. Their threat meant: dog eating the bone hung on its neck. It is very inhuman and wicked of them to think of that. But thank God they spoke out, if not, they would have gone there and would start perpetrating their devilish deeds on innocent women of Delta. God of the masses of Nigeria is alive!”
Another, an NGO executive Loretta Ahuokpeme who coordinates WANEP activities in Rivers State thanked God they have been tracked but expressed worry over the way women are abused in conflict.
“Thank God they have been tracked. Seriously, I don’t know why women have to bear the brunt of everything and these people have mothers, sisters, wives, girlfriends and daughters they love.
Please respect us at all times. We are human just like you,” she urged Nigerians.
Meanwhile, Mr Ofili Franklin has called on the governor to safeguard the people by seeing to their welfare. Many have attributed their being caught outside to search for food and survival as there were no palliatives from government even as markets remain shut.
Said he: “African soldiers are trained against their people. They are configured to see civilians as their enemies. But Okowa should do more to secure Deltans…make provisions for food, cash and testing of citizens”.
While the Army does its bit and the lockdown continues, citizens have been urged to help keep the peace by obeying the rules of the Coronavirus game.
Constance Meju, coordinator of the Center for Media Environment and Development Communications, CEMEDEC while thanking all who joined forces to get the authorities to swing into action, said there is need for all to treat the lockdown as a serious matter to save lives.
Her message read:
“Happy that through collective effort government was gingered to track the unruly soldier who threatened Delta women. Governor Okowa and the military heads, thank you.
There is need to tell the security operatives that this is no extension of war against Book Haram. There are civil ways of making people obey orders.
“And my dear Deltans, please let us behave like we care about our lives. This race is against death and we have only been lucky this far. Let us observe the rules, a little painful sacrifice is better than falling victims of a disease you may not survive.
“God bless you as you stay at home to help others and the health workers your misbehavior may put in danger”.
#No To Violence Against Women