For Nigerians, the abuse of power by the Nigerian army and the humiliating treatment of everyday persons whom they find offense with has not only been normalized but is considered a necessary kind of violence they are almost never held accountable for. With the country still reeling from the dictatorial symbol, the military stood for during its’ year of forcefully assuming governmental authority, it makes sense that the force would successfully ride on this trauma.
The recent display of a most aberrant use of power by a group of cadets who blocked a long line of traffic on an expressway would be alarming if not sad, infuriating and familiar. The expressway which is yet to be identified had cars honking and obviously impatient to get about their business and for these men to have felt emboldened enough to keep them waiting goes hand in hand with our culture of abused authority.
— The Herald (@HeraldNG) January 2, 2020
Everyone is aware of how violent Nigerian army officials often are towards civilians. Jokes have been spun and continue to make the rounds on the horrid experiences average Nigerians face in the hands of these men. From forcefully putting victims through traumatic punishments to enacting indelible forms of physical abuse. These acts are always justified with the reiteration of their invincibility, of the ways victims will bear the brunt of such mindless violation without getting justice.
The fear that has been endangered in the minds of many, that prevents anyone from standing up to them stems from the fact that this isn’t often considered a violation to begin with, and because it isn’t considered a problem, there is the minimal chance that anything will be done to stop it.
If we must trust the respectable office of the Nigerian army to not recklessly turn against the people they have sworn to protect, then a greater sense of regard and respect for everyone, especially and including the people for whom they’re putting their lives on the line must be instilled into everyone who holds a fraction of that office.
While the news is fresh yet, with more clips imitating these deplorable behaviors, it would be nice to hear from the Nigerian Army concerning this and to have this habit of picking on and bullying innocent Nigerians come to an end soon.