Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Folks, my heart is bleeding profusely for 54 Nigerian soldiers just found guilty of mutiny and sentenced to death by firing squad. Their offence is couched in the military terminology of MUTINY but it simply boils down to their refusal to fight the Boko Haram insurgents because they lacked the logistics to do so.
They had made it clear that the Nigerian army was too ill-equipped to face Boko Haram and that sending troops to the battlefield without their being adequately resourced would amount to a needless slaughter. And they followed the dictates of their conscience not to engage Boko Haram. The nasty consequence is what has been announced by a court martial: death by firing squad for mutiny!!
My heart bleeds for these soldiers because they stood up against what wasn't good for the military but now seem to have lost the gamble and will die through the workings of the military rigours, after all. The death that they feared at the battlefield will now end it all for them on the stakes. And Boko Haram will celebrate it as a victory won without putting in any effort. Too gripping!!
Read it all here: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-30526725.
I vehemently condemn this death sentence and urge all people of conscience to use whatever means they have to prevail on the Nigerian government not to go to the extent of sacrificing these soldiers to hide its own incompetence. The soldiers had a good reason to go the way they did, even if their insubordination qualifies as mutiny—a punishable misconduct in such a regimented establishment as the military.
But that mutiny was grounded in common sense, pragmatics, and good reason. How could soldiers be sent to the battlefield without the proper accoutrements to subdue the dreaded Boko Haram, which has more military capabilities than the Nigerian military or whatever its international backers have provided? Was this particular group of soldiers being sent to the battlefield at the time to save the Nigerian government's own face for which their mutiny should be regarded with so much apprehension and scorn?
I think that the inability of the Nigerian government to clamp down on Boko Haram has more to do with its own inadequacies than the refusal of the troops to engage Boko Haram. Killing these soldiers will not solve any problem. Instead, it will alarm their colleagues and set in motion a series of clandestine activities to favour Boko Haram.
Will the Nigerian government be level-headed enough to see things beyond this blood-hound syndrome and pardon these soldiers instead of sacrificing them? Instead of cutting them off to spite its own incompetence?
The Nigerian government has lost its bearings and the vim to solve problems. Sacrificing these soldiers will provoke dissension among the ranks and lead to something with untold consequences for the country. I can foresee danger ahead if this sentence is carried out.
My heart is bleeding all the more!!
I shall return…
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