The roles of security agents in any given country cannot be over emphasized. Constitutionally speaking, security agents are charged with the responsibility of maintaining law and order. The primary function of Nigerian Army is to protect the country from external aggression or attack, hence military officers are trained with art of war. They are trained to handle weapons of warfare, and nothing else. In a civilized society, soldiers are not permitted to mingle with the civilian class. Thus in democratic society soldiers are kept in the barracks, because they “lack” the knowledge of democratic norms and values. Whenever a military coup de-tat take place in a country, the coup plotters use top civil servants to help in administering the nation.
It is very sad to note that soldiers especially the so-called Joint Military Task Force (JTF) patrolling our streets do not understand the relationship between the military and the civilian society. Civilians don’t carrying arms, they are helpless individuals. Ideally, the civilians are supposed to be protected by the security agents, and not be intimidated, what we see frequently on our roads and neighbourhood.
Some years back I was nabbed by JTF for answering phone call on the road. Few minutes after that I found myself in SSS detention in Port Harcourt. Charges of militancy were framed against me and some students they (JTF) picked along the road. That was absolute nonsense. This can be attributed to lack of proper security training and re-training of the officers and men of our military force.
It is shame to say that the nation’s security agents are not well trained. My detention in the SSS cell revealed something, that most of the people languishing in the various cells in the country are innocent. They did nothing to deserve such in-human treatment. Our security agents, especially the police and Army need to be trained and taught on how to relate with the civilian society to avoid unnecessary panic.###