The apex Igbo cultural group, Ohanaeze Nd’Igbo in Cross River State has urged the Nigerian Army to be transparent and fair in dealing with the officer who dehumanised a serving corps member of National Youth Service Corps in the State capital, Calabar.
WuzupNigeria reported that the force condemned the act following a viral video showing one female Army officer, Lt. Chika Viola Anele, pouring dirty watery substance on a kneeling youth corps member, Ifeyinwa Fidelia Ezeiruaku.
The corps member who is observing her primary assignment at the 13 Brigade headquarters in Calabar was said to have been engaged in an argument with the lieutenant before being maltreatreated in turn.
Regardless, the force has opened investigation and at the same time revealed it has sanctioned the officer involved.
Reacting, the President of Ohanaeze Nd’Igbo Cross River State, Ugoji Nwabueze, commended the force for it's swift response.
Ugoji who doubles as the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Cross River State on Non Indigene Affairs (Igbo), condemned the unprofessional act by the officer.
“Our locus for this press statement is on the basis that both the suspected offender, Lt Chika Viola Anele; and the offended corps member, Ifeyinwa Fidelia Ezeiruka, are our daughters serving the nation and are within the jurisdiction.
“Regrettably, the act has placed the integrity and public relations principles of the Nigerian Army before the court of public conscience.
“In a democratic nation, the bar of expectation for the protection of fundamental rights of citizen is sacrosanct and the demand even higher,” the pan Igbo body stated.
Speaking further, the group said that “Because she(the officer) is our daughter is even the reason we must join the Nigerian Army in its condemnation of the act as unprofessional and against established precepts of discipline in the Army. We refuse to be associated with bad manner.
“We commend the quick intervention of the Brigade Commander who, upon his attention drawn, immediately instituted an investigation that led to the identification and possible arrest of the suspect.
“We are told that she will undergo regimental orders (trial) in line with the extant provisions of the Armed Forces Act.
“We urge the Nigerian Army to use serious infractions like this to convince Nigerians of its determination to bring discipline into its rank and file.
“We’re further pleased with the civility shown by the Nigerian Army in tendering unreserved apology to the victim, her family members, friends, National Youth Service Corps and to Nigerians in general for the unwholesome treatment meted to the corps member.
“The message is clear that better days of military and civilian mutual relationship have finally come.
“We plead with the military in the process of adjudication to be open, transparent, fair, and ensure that it does not throw the baby away with the bath water,” the group added.