On the 25th of December 2017, a young man named Clemzy Odukwe narrated his ordeal in the hand of Nigeria military men in Warri, Delta State.
Carefully read his story of what happened.
Christmas day 2017 went sour for me and few other good friends of mine.
We had gone for a Christmas hangout somewhere around airport road in Effurun which is not a very long distance from where I reside in Jakpa road, Effurun, Delta State.
We boarded a Keke around 8:45pm heading for home, somewhere around the popular Sokoh Estate road, we met a gang of men of the Nigeria Army numbering well over ten with their hilux van parked at the very middle of the road. They halted our Keke and, in a commando tune ordered us to come down. Of course, every sane human will assume they intended to carry out a search on us as usual, seeing it is their job to maintain law and order especially at this season of celebration. But little did we know we have been snared into real trouble.
“Today all of you must catch two fish for me, if you don’t, I swear, I will kill all of you”, these where the exact first words from their assumed commandant, no form of interrogation from us whatsoever. The next thing we saw was flogging. Irresistible multiple floggings.
These animals in military uniform descended on us (including two ladies) with strokes, commanding us to lie down. At that point, I knew we had entered into big trouble.
Despite the ugly scenario, i tried to beckon on their commandant to hear me out but, the more you wanted to talk, the more the strokes on your body. When it dawn on me that those cowards meant business was when they ordered us to lie inside the gutter.
However, in the midst of the brutality, I insisted on talking, I said “we are law abiding citizens and gentle men and women who meant nothing other than peace”. While I spoke, someone who was already emersed inside the dirty and odorous gutter, spoke an Islamic word, and those where our saving grace. A spirit which I believe was from God, entered into the so called commander and, that was how we were commanded to run and never look back nor slow down else, they will open fire. That was how we all deserted, running helter skelter.
Indeed, our happiness went sour. I was very angry but yet thankful to God for them not to have pulled the trigger. You needed to see the level of injuries inflicted on us, especially that of the two ladies with us.
Those guys dealt with us as if to say we were a group of boko haram terrorist they’ve been looking for. We were forced to roll on the floor while strokes of “koboko” descended on us like common criminals.
They where so fierce looking and unfriendly like a military reinforcement battalion sent on a war mission to a battle field where they have lost their men and hungry for retaliation. Any form of attempt to run or show a little sign of resistance by anyone of us would have met us with a more disastrous outcome.
I can narrate our ordeal now simply because we survived.
I suffered all through the night and couldn’t sleep as a result of the pains from the injuries sustained. I have never been exposed to such kind of torture in my entire life. I grew up with the understand that, only criminals were melted such brutality but, here am i, a direct victim of unruly circumstance. So sad and painful!
When will military brutality come to an end in this our country?
Why will innocent civilians be made to go through all these military force for committing no crime?
Who can put a stop to this evil menace?
I used to hear about military brutality on innocent civilians until i was face to face with it yesterday. Yes, it was our turn yesterday, someone somewhere might be a victim today, while you may fall into their deadly hands tomorrow.
When one falls vulnerable to them, i bet you, you won’t be able to deliver yourself on the spot. No matter who you are or connected to. Oh! i forgot to tell you they accosted another gentleman in his highlander jeep and made a mess of him and others in the car. These guys will mess you up, and your actions afterwards will become a second-hand aftermath. They are simply not a set of animals any individual should pray to meet.
Last night, I spoke with my lawyer friend on how I can take up the issue but, since I couldn’t get any of their names or vehicle number plate, I may be dealing with unknown soldiers.
However, I have already done a write up to the Army military media outfit, while someone has voluntered to help make formal complain to the C.O in Warri. Also, I am compiling pictures of injuries sustained by me and others together with a comprehensive narration of the incident to my journalist friends in top media houses. I already have plans to involve bloggers to help disseminate this unruly act in their various blogs.
You that is reading this can also help make it go viral in your capacity.
I am a child of God, a law abiding citizen of my country Nigeria. I obey even the slightest of traffic laws. I always seek to uphold the rules, principles and tenets guiding the society. I am a leading crusader for a better Nigeria. I defend and protect the laws of the land, as such, I and my likes are not permitted to be a victim whatsoever.
I say it with all modesty, I remain who I am no matter the matter, but, to keep silent in the face of oppression is what I won’t do.
We must get it right as a people
We must get it right as a Nation
We must continue to speak up until the system improves.
I am writing from my bed where am nursing the injuries sustained from military brutality