While it is expected that the military should have purged itself of anti-democratic behavior, the Nigerian Army continues to perpetrate acts that are in constant violation of basic human rights and the country’s constitution.
Human rights abuse and other forms of abuse of power might have reduced since the country left behind its era of dictatorships and returned to civilian rule, but they still occur enough to cause concern. The response of the successive governments to these abuses haven’t done much to mitigate them or reassure Nigerians that they aren’t sanctioned. This is especially true of the Buhari led presidency. An administration with utmost disregard for court orders and one that looks the other way round when citizens’ rights are being trampled upon.
In 2018, the military accused the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) to leave Nigeria for spying for Boko Haram and ordered them to leave terrorist ridden Borno, fully aware it has no legal jurisdiction to make such pronouncements. The decision which received condemnation from the general public was later withdrawn. As if that was not enough, the Military went ahead to inaugurate what it tagged a nationwide operation python dance in preparation for the 2019 general election. This is coming at a time stakeholders in the electoral sector are calling for the withdrawal of military officers from electoral duties. This operation which is a means of intimidating electorates and a means to promote voters apathy is unnecessary and uncalled for.
The latest action of the military on the Borno, Abuja and Lagos offices of the Daily Trust newspapers on Sunday, December 7, 2019 was illegal and uncalled for. The military stormed these offices taking away their laptops, computers and two personnel of the company without a valid warrant. This is the latest of its recurrent litany of errors. The Chief of Army staff Lt. Col Tukur Buratai is advised to call his soldiers to order and get familiar with democracy. This is democracy where rule of law reigns supreme and not a military regime.