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#VictoryForNigeria: Call for Court Martial of army chiefs

07 October 2014, 12:35 Peregrino Brimah

We stand by the brave men of the nation’s army any day and every day. Our prayers are with them and their families. Indeed these men at the battlefront are the only remaining vestiges of patriotism in this nation. They are making the ultimate sacrifice and losing their lives fighting a war created by free roaming Nigerian politicians, military Chiefs and friends of the Presidency. What greater sacrifice can a man make than to fight and die to protect the masses while the ruling Cabal associate with the sponsors of the enemy and regard them as their “siblings,” as President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan did to the dismay of Nigerians and international observers.

It is worth remarking that the Nigerian army has stepped up. The transformation occurred this September to be precise and no earlier. The army stepped-up precisely after the FGN negotiator, Australian Stephen Davis made some startling revelations about the sponsorship of Boko Haram; incriminating close friends and allies of Nigeria’s President including the former army Chief who was at the head of Nigeria’s war against Boko Haram for the five years of greatest carnage, ex-General Azubuike Ihejirika. It may be the exposure and downfall of Ihejirika that triggered a change with our current army Chiefs who did not wish to tow his path from grace to grass and possible jail. It is worthy of note that Ihejirika was illegally put in office by President Jonathan, as he was never approved by the Senate in violation of the Nigerian constitution. This point was brought up by Attorney Festus Keyamo who forced him out of office within a 14-day Court ultimatum in January of this year.

Today the army appears to pleasantly have turned a new leaf. They have finally after our complaints for the better part of the past five years, resorted to bombing armories in barracks’ that they lose to Boko Haram to deny the terrorists their regular arms refills as they always got under Ihejirika and under the current army Chiefs for the better part of this year.

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The army has also finally approved the call of many serious Nigerians for the arming of Civilians, the hunters, Vigilantes and Civilian-JTF as a necessary self-defense resort and fighting force against terror in their locals. Prior to this, the Nigerian army under Ihejirika and the current Chiefs perpetrated one of the greatest crimes against reason and humanity by carrying unarmed Civilians and putting them with only sticks and stones as the fore-men, in front of superiorly armed-to-the-teeth Boko Haram terrorists. This was sheer callousness and criminal wickedness beyond description. The brave Civilian-JTF must be commended and supported for having done so much and sacrificed their lives not turning back and being the critical first-line in defeating Boko Haram in their many engagements despite going to the warfront equipped with big hearts and sticks only.

The Nigerian military has also for a first time in five years, captured Nigerian military tanks, APC’s and other vehicles that had over the period been systematically transferred and sold to Boko Haram under the watch of the army Chiefs. Civilians in Borno were seen recently celebrating the recovered vehicles which had been taken up north by the army and had continuously ended up in the hands of Boko Haram for use to decimate and wage their successful pogrom against disarmed sitting-duck civilians.

Another major new turn by the army that must be commended is the court martial, not of the brave 12 or 97, but of an army commander a Brigadier-General who turned back at Bama and led a retreat of his troops in the face of Boko Haram onslaught., We have in the past raised the issue of Nigerian military commanders abandoning their positions to terrorists and allowing the terrorists capture towns and villages as being deliberate sabotage. The fact that not a single army commander had prior to this October, been court martialed for this treason implicated former army Chief, Azubuike Ihejirika and the current army Chiefs in sponsorship of Boko Haram. The army stationed cannot abandon post in the face of terror and give up weapons to Boko Haram continuously without its leaders being held to account. We celebrate what appears to be a new leaf in the conduct of the Nigerian army as at last the first army commander has been called for court martial.

Also Read: Court martials soldiers for balking at taking on Boko Haram

In the face of the above, while we celebrate and pray #VictoryForNigeria, we believe it is time serous action is taken on the Nigerian army Chiefs who have for the past five years and up till September this 2014 at the eleventh hour, 5 months to the next elections, refused to act in keeping with their oath and duty to the Nigerian army and people. We call on the court martial of the Nigerian heads of army service, current and past. It is time for the unreserved resignation of all heads of the force and for their house-arrest pending thorough investigation into the level of treason in their conduct from 2010 till September 2014. The seriousness of the court martial against the 12 and 97 soldiers must be equally applied to those at the helm who have divided up billions of dollars land set aside for barracks in Abuja, yet have failed for five years to conduct a true and professional war against Boko Haram terrorism which has been allowed by their actions and inactions to decimate the entire north of Nigeria and lead to thousands of deaths, abductions, rapes and loses of billions of naira worth of property.

And just as the US head of Secret Service resigned for mild “incompetence,” we also call on the immediate, unconditional resignation and investigation of Nigeria’s head of security, NSA Sambo Dasuki and Minister of Defense, Spy Aliyu Mohammed Gusau.

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