A coalition of Civil Society groups has called for a regular psychiatric evaluation for military personnel. This call was made as a result of a viral video showing a military personnel defending a colleague whose car had been impounded by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for driving against the traffic.
The full text of the statement:
Our attention has been drawn to a viral video of a yet to be identified soldier which unfortunately was published in a national daily as well as on online platforms on the 4th of January 2024, where the soldier was seen defending his lawless colleague who was arrested and his motorcycle confiscated by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu entourage for driving against traffic on the Lagos Badagry expressway on Tuesday 2nd January 2024.
We are compelled to respond to the comments of the soldier because of the high esteem that we hold the Nigeria Army as a disciplined and professional institution whose image and integrity must not be allowed to be dragged into the mud by some mentally challenged personnel in need of psychiatric examination.
It’s a fact that we operate a constitutional democracy in which our society is governed by laws. It’s also not in dispute that the Nigeria Army is a noble and distinguished law upholding institution charged by the constitution to defend the territorial integrity of our country against external aggression as well as the last line of defence against internal insurrection.
We are all aware that there is a Lagos state traffic law 2012 which prohibits the riding of okada on the highway, to ride any automobile against traffic called one way, be it a vehicle or motorcycle amounts to a violation of the laws of the land which is punishable by law. By his action for which he was apprehended by Mr. Governor, the lawless apprehended soldier was in breach of the law on two count: riding okada on the highway and riding against traffic.
It’s not in doubt that driving/riding of automobile on the road against traffic, is not only a violation of the Lagos state traffic law, but is also a threat to the good health and lives of the driver/rider and the citizenry as well, many of whom have been sent to their early graves and limbs temporarily and permanently damaged by accidents that occur as a result of such violation of the law.
Hence, watching and listening to the comments of the soldier in the viral video where he was challenging the chief security officer of Lagos state Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for performing his constitutional duty by apprehending a law breaker and questioning the rationale for the Governor’s action solely on the basis that the suspect is a soldier, leaves us in no doubt that the unidentified soldier must be suffering from mental health challenge.
Thus, we are compelled to demand that the Nigeria Army should embark on regular periodic psychiatric evaluation of its personnel of which the comments of the soldier in the viral video has exposed the mental health deficiency of some of its personnel, which must be addressed with the utmost seriousness and attention it deserves.
Our regard for the Nigeria Army remains unshaken and unquestionable, because this character and some others like him in the Nigeria Army, do not in any way mirror the Nigerian Military which is a beacon of our unity and resilience as a people.
COALITION OF CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS
Comrade RAZAQ OLOKOBA
CAMPAIGN FOR DIGNITY IN GOVERNANCE
Comrade NELSON EKUNJUNMI
Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate CPPM
Comrade Raji Rasheed OYEWUMI
YORUBA CITIZENS ACTION FOR CHANGE.
Comrade Alex Omotehinse
Centre for Human and Socio-economic Rights (CHSR)
Comrade Ramat Abdul Razaq
Northern Youth Development Academy
Prince Wale Oladipupo
Epe Youth Forum