*Praises COAS for Upholding Professional Discipline
A frontline Civil Rights Advocacy group; Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has endorsed the strict professional and disciplinary postures of the Chief of Army Staff; Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai just as the Rights group said tolerating professional misconduct by personnel of the Nigerian Army as an institution established by the Nigerian Constitution would be injurious to the growth, advancement and progressive attainment of service excellence by the Nigerian Army.
HURIWA has therefore faulted the positions espoused by the Nigerian lawmaker in the second republic; Dr Junaid Mohammed, who called for the immediate release of Lance Corporal Martins, a soldier in the Nigerian Army, who was arrested after making a video carpeting the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, and other security chiefs of the country.
HURIWA recalled that the soldier was arrested on the order of Buratai just as the video trended in which the junior operative of the Nigerian Army; Martins said that Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai and other security chiefs in the country had failed in their responsibilities to defend the country.
The Rights group said the action of the soldier was unwarranted and unbecoming of a professionally trained soldier. The Rights group said the military of all nations do not joke with the issue of hierarchical order and respectability. HURIWA has therefore told Junaid Mohammed that the Nigerian Army is not the same as the house of commotion and organised confusion that politics in Nigeria represents.
But Calling for the release of the soldier, Mohammed Junaid said the soldier spoke the ‘simple truth’ about the Nigerian Army and did not deserve to be detained and added that Buratai and the military were treating Lance Corporal Martins in an unfair manner, adding that the soldier should not be detained arbitrarily.
HURIWA quoted the media as stating that the erstwhile legislator Mohammed said, “The simple truth is that the Nigerian Army under Buratai has failed and is also failing.
“Under normal circumstances, the responsibility of the armed forces is to defend the country against the external enemy because the primary responsibility is to make sure that enemies of Nigeria don’t get the opportunity to either destroy the country or facilitate the killings of innocent Nigerians.
“In all these areas, the Nigerian Armed Forces have failed particularly the Nigerian Army under Buratai who is more of a businessman. There is the issue of what is acceptable within the Armed Forces, can a soldier criticise the army, I think not. But when the internal channels provided for the service are not available or perhaps people who have genuine grievances for themselves or for the service or people of the country are muscled deliberately then other channels can be opened”.
HURIWA however said in as much as it will even write to the Chief of Army Staff; Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai to urge him to tamper justice with mercy by pardoning Lance corporal Martins over his needless outbursts which may have come from fatigue of the intensive counter terror war, it is not in agreement with the position canvassed by the Kano born politician that the leadership of Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai has failed because in the considered opinion of the Rights group, General Buratai has achieved a lot of milestones within the Army and has indeed introduced a lot of innovations and built lots of infrastructures and high valued facilities for the Nigerian Army which will stand the test of time.
The Rights group said it is unfair for Junaid Mohammed to rubbish the comprehensive achievements made by the current Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai just because of the seemingly unending war on terror which for no fault of his has lasted more than it should.
HURIWA reminded the politician that the Nigerian Army as an institution grounded in the Nigerian law is obliged to ensure that officers and men of the Armed forces of Nigeria comply with the rules of engagement and avoid the temptation to rebel against constituted authority rather than use internal mechanisms to ventilate his Personal opinions.
“HURIWA is of the opinion that there are areas of deficiencies in the current war on terror but these fault lines are not necessary due to human failure on the part of Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai who has risked his life on many occasions to be with his troops in the theatre of war for many Months now. We support freedom of speech but when you are a member of the Nigerian Army you are also bound by internal rules so as not to jeopardize national security “.