Young soldiers who block roads across Nigeria should be severely punished [Opinion] -


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Monday, 6 January 2020

Young soldiers who block roads across Nigeria should be severely punished [Opinion]

Nigerian soldiers on duty in the troubled northeast (Punch)
Young cadets block roads across Nigeria and boast about it all on camera. This practice has got to stop and now!!

There’s a disturbing trend among cadets of the Nigeria Defense Academy (NDA) and the Nigeria Military School (NMS) and I hear it’s not an entirely new one.

Young recruits storm busy roads or expressways in complete military fatigues, block said roads or expressways, boast about how no one can stop them, compound traffic, record their despicable act on camera and return to do the same in some other location the next day.
You hate to see it.
The daredevilry of the cadets is known as ‘plumming’ and usually takes place around the Christmas and New Year holiday, according to people in the know.
Plumming videos have been making the rounds on social media since December 2019. Two of those instances reportedly occurred in Kaduna and Yaba in Lagos.
In one of the videos making the rounds on social media, a cadet can be heard boasting into the camera as others cheer around him: “See, it is our time. I want to block this road. Ok, now wait. I want to block this road on my own. They can only horn but they cannot do anything. It is my own time. They can only horn but they cannot do anything. Do you understand?”
Smack in the middle of busy traffic and in broad daylight!!
“I have tried hard to understand various versions of this story involving cadets of the Nigerian Army but still don’t get it,” tweeted former minister and one time presidential aspirant, Obiageli Ezekwesili. “What is the meaning of this scale of lawlessness and intoxication by these lowest in the chain of the military in our Democracy???”
According to Twitter user @djdoink, “this happens to be a tradition...These cadets present the video when they go back to NDA. This is the bedrock of our insecurity problem, power management and misplaced priorities. These nitwits get paid with taxes.”
Social media commentator Atanda Kayode says “it has always been the practice by cadets of NDA. They call it "Chaus". When they go on vacation, they are ordered by their seniors to chaus at their various states and reports brought back to the academy. I think it's high time they stopped this demeaning tradition.”
So, this very silly and unruly act by young army officers has been going on for a while with the blessings of the military top brass? How pitiable!
Before embarking on this piece, I did try to reach NDA and army spokespersons for comments on the subject without much success. The army headquarters has also not deemed it necessary to react to public outrage on this subject, weeks after the videos began making the rounds.
In any case, it’s time to stop this madness. For all it's worth, the practice is a throwback to the dark days of military rule; and grooming young army officers to disregard civil authority this way and constitute public nuisance is going to come back to bite the nation they swear to defend against external aggression.
Nigerian Army Lieutenant General and the current Chief of Army Staff of Nigeria, Tukur Yusuf Buratai inspects a guard of honor (Vanguard)
Young officers should be taught about civics at an early age and shouldn’t be made to feel that they can get away with anything with the butt of a gun. Our soldiers are famous for human rights violations and excessive use of force and you have to regrettably agree that they are ingrained with these vices from an early age in the defense academies.
The army top brass has got to do better and hand recruits a whole new orientation. They have to tell these young guns that they are subject to civil authority and that they are not above the law. They have to do better. They can be better.
In the final analysis, all the young officers caught on camera obstructing free flow of traffic should also be handed the appropriate punishment as a deterrence.

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