Military brutality: Over 250 soldiers involved in attack against us, Ogbomoso youth group says

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Yinka ADETUNJI
Ogbomoso Community Youth Forum, OCYF, has disclosed what led to the severe brutality visited on their members and others by some unscrupulous men of the Nigerian Army yesterday at Caretaker area, Ogbomoso.

One of the victims


The group says the soldiers numbering about 250 were being conveyed in three vehicles, a Marco Polo luxurious bus and two hilux vans and were moving towards the northern part of the country, when the incident happened.
“About thirty of them came out and started beating people with whips and hitting them with gun butt,” it states in a press release.
ogbomosoinsightonline.com recalls that while members of the OCYF were working yesterday at the damaged portions of the trunk-A road that traverses Ogbomoso metropolis, they came under assault from the military men who were in transit.
“The military boys were in haste to pass and in their usual overzealousness jumped out of their vehicles to beat everyone in sight, traffic having built up,” OCYF discloses in a release.

Members of OCYF at the site before the army boys’ madness


The release further states, “While working at Caretaker area, a convoy of the men of the Nigerian Armed Forces drove through the area and when they couldn’t proceed they started beating everyone just for them to free the traffic. There were many articulated vehicles compounding the problem but it got to a point that they beat one Fulani man to coma.
“The Fulani man was being conveyed on a motorcycle when their motorcycle was stopped and he was hit with gun butt on the head and stabbed in the ear. In fact everyone thought he was dead. That is when we came around to try to explain what was going on but they would not listen and instead pounced on us too, brutalizing our members including the president of the group.
“They were wild like drunken men, deserted by reason and common sense, (mis)behaving like braggarts, conceited, and driven by a false sense of superiority because of the monopoly of coercive power they believe they have. They are bereft of the mental awareness that amity with peaceful citizens pays more in their line of duty.”
The group also avers,”Government shirked its responsibility. The road, a federal one became badly dilapidated with huge craters, no government agencies attended to it despite that it’s a crucial road in the country.
“We volunteered to assist in fixing it, yet these men in uniform cannot appreciate that, but instead resorted to bestiality. It is part of the reason they can’t win the wars they fight all over the country. They are so much used to oppressing unarmed citizens and when armed men come against them they are crumbling like packs of cards. Though we know there are still professional soldiers but touts like the ones that assaulted us are the black sheep.
”If we have not done the little we are doing the road would have caved in and not motorable, they wouldn’t have been able to pass. The authorities need to initiate reforms in our security forces to make them act with civility. Misdeeds like these gave rise to EndSARS protests last year.”
Meanwhile, OCYF has assured it would not be deterred by the military brutality and would continue in their volunteer services to the community.
“Nevertheless, we understand that winners never quit and quitters never win! We are assuring the good people of Ogbomoso that we shall complete the project that we have started. Just keep on praying for us.
“We have no reason to abandon what we are doing since we started on conviction that we must contribute our quotas to ease the burden we are subjected to because of the damaged road and since we know government cannot do all. The flawed mentality of a few military men cannot break us, it is a sacrifice we have to make to lay a foundation of community service. We will complete what we started.
“Before we commenced the repair work we informed the police area commander and the Operation Burst men as well as other security agencies so it is not as if we were involved in unlawful things.”
In the meantime some of those brutalized are still battling with their lives, “We learnt that the assaulted Fulani man would be taken to Ilorin for further treatment today,” a member of the group informed.

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