Social media has been awash with rage in the last 17 hours following a video that surfaced online showing a Nigerian soldier mercilessly assaulting a Lagos driver on Moloney Street, Lagos Island.
Narration from the witnesses
In the video, the soldier identified as Duru. I who was reported to have driven against the traffic was seen driving towards the driver. Then he hit the driver while barricading the road with his vehicle. The soldier alighted from his car and came at the driver, slapping and hitting him. He dragged the driver out of the car where two others joined him to beat up the elderly driver.
The soldier got out of his car and immediately insulted the driver (Source: Instablog9ja)
The lady who captured this incident was driving with the assaulted driver and could be heard in the background crying while the soldier was beating the driver, saying that the soldier blocked the road.
The video was posted alongside the lady's narrative of how it happened
"This happened around 5.16pm on Moloney Street, Lagos Island, opposite the Police Office/Kam Salem House. We were on the right side of the road coming from Obalende, but had to stop as there was an oncoming vehicle on our way. This vehicle should have been on the left side.
We hooted several times but the vehicle refused to move. We then heard other disgruntled drivers murmur(ing), ‘na soldier oh’, and so we reversed in an attempt to wriggle our way out peacefully.
But to our surprise, the soldier reversed and intentionally drove forward to hit our car. These videos show the altercation right from when we were wrongly hit."
The soldier's car details were gotten. He was driving a Honda Acura car whose number plate is Oyo AE 998 YYY.
The soldier even called several guys to beat the driver (Source: Instablog9ja)
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How the public reacted to the video
As Naijauto confirmed, the video has gone viral with Nigerians reacting to it.
A Twitter user named Seguin Awosanya, who happens to be a human rights activist, retweeted the video. He insisted that the soldiers should be hunted down and made to face charges. He was of the view that it will be a preventive measure for future occurrence by other soldiers.
Mr. Awosanya stated,
"I have reported the matter to the appropriate authorities; the military will respond to it and will make the soldiers to answer to their crime. That is not the protocol for any officer whatsoever; the uniform does not make you better, bigger or more important than any other person. Rather, it makes you responsible; it makes you to exercise restraint and it makes you to act with discipline.
So when you are wearing the uniform, there are some things that are expected of you. The soldier driver broke the law, in the process, something happened and he decided to lash out at the civilian; that is not done and that should not be accepted.
It is unacceptable, it is abhorrent and it is something that has to be dealt with to send a message to other people, who may want to do a similar thing. And from the few people that I have reached out to, we will make sure that justice is served."
See other reactions from Nigerians. This shows how angry they are over the incident.
"Nigeria is one of the countries where the citizens are so scared of the soldiers, who are meant to protect them. I mean, why are you a soldier? As a uniformed person, if citizens (usually civilians) are not a threat to your life or the lives of others at any particular time, you are supposed to protect them and not be an object of fear to them. Almost everything in this country has gone wrong. It’s a pitiful situation."
A lot of soldiers out there are fighting to protect our lives, but some are unacceptable
"the soldier and his colleagues should be tried for assault.
This is why this country can absolutely be described as a shithole by foreign observers. Majority of Nigerians are using a caveman or hunter/gatherer mentality to exist in a modern world, so how can anything work?"
anna_staciaa also expressed her disappointment,
"Our military counterparts abroad, who truly serve their nations and make all the sacrifices, don’t treat civilians this way. They remain law-abiding and respectful to those around them.
But these hopeless chaffs we have here, who constantly vent their frustration on unsuspecting civilians/victims, are one of the problems we have in Nigeria. Their end is near."
You can check the original post and how the Army reacts below!
Responses from the Nigerian Army
The Nigerian Army has told the public that they've started investigations to identify the uncouth soldier.
A spokesman for LASTMA named Mahmud Hassan stated that the soldier will be charged if found guilty of disobeying traffic rules. He also went further to bemoan the challenge their agency always faces whenever they try to nab army officers who flout traffic laws.
"The Lagos State Traffic Law does not make provision for anybody, irrespective of their position or status, to violate the law. We implement the law to prevent anarchy on the roads.
However, we have a little challenge with arresting the men in uniform. On many occasions, our officers have been brutalised and intimidated by them. But we enjoy good support from the top hierarchy of the military.
So, what we do when we have this kind of situation is to collate our evidence, which we forward to their provost marshal or military police, and we have seen how they deal with such cases, using their own rules within the confines of their barracks.
We will activate our team to study the footage you are talking about. If we have enough information to enable us to identify the culprit and the vehicle involved, we will submit it to the military authorities to act on."
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