Is really sad to know that a number of the soldiers who have been fighting the insurgents in the North Eastern part of Nigeria are now charged of mutiny and stiff penalties have been meted out. Based on the news we heard these gallant men rebelled against what they called insensitivity to their safety in the fight against Boko Haram. This rebellion as it were is not meant to be found in the army so mutiny is the charge and the penalty of some was a death sentence.
Let me state that this piece is not to justify any of the parties; the military council or the charged. It is just an objective view on what I feel about the whole scenario.
In times past we have had cases of rebellion in the army; where a group of officers who are aggrieved about a particular thing and then decide to take laws into their hands. It is a common occurrence in the military setting. In the years after independence in Nigeria, we experienced six different coups masterminded by young and aggrieved officers of the armed forces. Take note there is always a grievance and the aim of the coup is to remove the source of such grievances with the hope of making things better.
Now we are told that the officers just charged with mutiny rebelled or were aggrieved by their probably poor treatment when it comes to fighting the insurgents. It is no news that huge amounts are being released to tackle this unfortunate menace we now face but what I don’t understand is why there should be grievances whether genuine or untrue among our gallant men. They are staking their lives on the line that our nation might not be overrun by these terrorists.
The senior officers perhaps think that what they have done with these ones is to avoid a future occurrence but too bad because an aggrieved officer will always rely on his gun to make his voice heard. History has proved that to us. The very first coup we had was obviously carried out to save our nation from an apparent drift in the work of building a nation that was indeed young and nascent. They didn’t voice out their opinion but rather they secretly masterminded a takeover and struck when their timetable was reached.
If these gallant men who now fight in the cold and dark, in the middle of bullets and bombs just to secure our territorial integrity are now being treated below what it should be, then there is need to fear. It will now generate to the state where they would start thinking that their labours, toils and sacrifice are being taken for granted or are not being rewarded accordingly. Let’s not forget just a handful of officers can decide to overrun a nation just by having a good plan carried out.
These men are our heroes and are the reason why these insurgents have not progressed to other parts of the nation. They need our moral support, care, love, donations, incentives and whatever that can show that we are truly grateful. Let us not risk having a group of genuinely aggrieved officers oust our democracy; militarize the nation obviously because they will think it is the best approach to end this war.
A soldier who puts his life in harm’s way doesn’t need anyone to take him for granted or else he will do what he is trained to do just to make his voice and gun heard.