Members of the Nigerian Army have been warned over their involvement in civilian disputes, with instructions that such acts would no longer be condoned. The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 2nd Mechanised Division, Major General Ahmed Jibrin, made this known in Akure, the Ondo State capital while addressing men of the 32 Artillery Brigade, Owena Barracks.
Major General Jibrin expressed concern that there had been a lot of complaints from the public about the interference in civilian disputes by men of the Army. He said stiff disciplinary action would be taken against any soldier found using his position to victimise the people.
Congratulating the men for their contributions towards the success of the last governorship election in the state, the Army Chief, who however, warned them not to jettison professionalism for issues that did not concern them: “I must commend you for your performance during the last election in this state, It was not because of anything but for the hard work and diligence you have exhibited, I congratulate you and you must congratulate yourselves. You have done a good job but I must quickly also mention that as you have done well in the election, you should try to cultivate good relationship with people in town.
“There are concerns that some of you are appointing yourselves judges on what is purely civil matters, this is not acceptable, we have no business with what civilians are doing in respect of judgment, your main concern is what happens in the barracks and in the barracks, we have our hierarchy, we know how to dispense justice… When civilians are having their problems, please endeavour to turn the other way unless you are authorised, you have no business in civil matters, don’t say he is your brother or she is your sister so you have to go and help her, so endeavour to avoid involvement in civilian matter.”