Journalist In Awka Given The Beating Of His Life By Soldiers

Obviously the boys in khaki have still not gotten used to the fact that the days of military dictatorship is over – the days of “bloody civilian”, “koboko” hounding and other form of high-handedness by these soldiers is past but they don’t seem to live in the present. Stories of abuses and assault of civilians by these soldiers who are trained, kitted and paid by Nigerian tax payers’ monies abound, and nothing seems to be done to halt the trend. In other climes, soldiers treat civilians with respect and love because they realize that their well-being and that of their families is highly dependent on the tax paid by civilians. Here, our soldiers don’t realize it- they loathe and look down upon us like the scum of the earth while they be some sort of demi-gods to be reverred and feared by all.

The PUNCH carries the story of a journalist, a “bloody civilian” that was brutalized and abducted in Awka by men of the Nigerian Army. Excerpts below:

Not Actual Footage

Soldiers attached to the Awka South Local Government demolition team in Anambra State, on Thursday, beat up and arrested Mr. David-Chyddy Eleke, a reporter with the Leadership newspaper.

The soldiers descended on Eleke as he took a photograph of a demolition exercise on Engr. Arthur Eze Avenue, Awka.

They seized him by the collar of his shirt, hit and threw him into their patrol van before taking him away to an unknown destination.

It was a distraught colleague of Eleke, Uzoma Nzeagwu of The Guardian, who witnessed the incident that sent distress calls about it to reporters.

For a long time, Eleke’s whereabouts could not be established as he was not picking his calls. Apparently, the soldiers had seized his mobile telephone.

As the news got to the state Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Mrs. Tochukwu Omelu, who was presiding over a state congress of the union at Amawbia, she dismissed the meeting and made contacts until it was established that Eleke was being held at the Awka South LG headquarters.

She then led her members to the Awka South Secretariat, where the LG Chairman, Mr. Emmanuel Okoye, was presiding over a meeting of the demolition task force, with the soldiers standing guard outside the building.

As the NUJ team approached, Eleke was released. But the NUJ chairman insisted on seeing the council chairman. After an initial hesitation by members of his staff, Omelu was let in.

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. Is high time this soldiers are call to order. They are not God, they are not above the law in fact there many civilians who are more powerful than the soldiers is just that a tree don’t make a forest just as a single soldier cannot do and undo unless in the presence of his colleaque. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH of this torture here and there.

  2. This is a violation of human right,many soldiers don’t know their main primary work. It is hard time they know that they are trained n kitted for war n since nobody is above the law they should be brought to book to avoid reoccurance of this inhuman act.

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