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Reckless driving by security forces in Kano

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Nigerian Soldiers

Bala Nasir

It is very common in Nigeria to hear people talking about military mentality, a statement which means so much to so many people depending on the issue of discussion concerning what in military parlance is referred to as ‘khaki boys’. What all these means in simple terms is disregard to civilians in all ramifications by the khaki boys.

There was this notion of nothing good comes from the civilians, as such they are inferior beings compared to khaki boys. For this therefore, a civilian is equated with little animals or even less to them.

At least this was what used to get into the skulls of military personnel especially during their initial training in the past.

Since violent engagement forms the better part of their training with regards to defending the sovereignty of our country, the military need to be trained in such a way to divest the civilian reasoning and other rational attitudes in them. Hence, the need for them to have a change in their attitude as to reflect the major demand for soldiers.

Also, their mental alertness must be made to come to term with responsibilities of defending the nation that is usually tied to the hierarchy of command as dictated by the rule of engagement.

That could have been the reason they are sometime seen to be acting in a way people consider very rash and aggressive as may be determined by the exigencies of their calling.

This, therefore, is the reason we see them using the road the way they do at times especially in emergency situations like the Boko Haram insurgency we had in the Northern states.

Boko Haram insurgency then was at its peak which eventually put the entire security apparatuses of the country on their toes trying to bring the situation to normalcy.

For that people in the affected parts of the country where made to undergo some security checks at various points which were very uncomfortable to them.

Roads were barricaded for routine security checks and gatherings were usually not allowed and some important places were cordoned all in an effort to safeguard them so as not to allow the insurgents access.

However, with the level of achievement recorded in the fight against insurgents especially in Kano where there has been a drastic drop of activities of the insurgents and their cohorts for some time now.

But even at this, some of the personnel driving security vehicles tend to drive with the exigent apprehension as it was during the peak of Boko Haram activities in the state’s capital.

The situation is so rampant now that not just the Army or police known to be mostly involved in these security issues, other para-military personnel are also behaving as if they too are in emergency that makes it necessary to drive with the reckless abundance they are driving on our roads.

It is now a common site in Kano to see Army or police vehicles driving recklessly blaring siren and forcing other road users off the road just to have their way not minding the consequences of their actions.

There are allegations that even if an accident occurs as a result of their actions they never cared to look back talk less of showing any remorse for what their action caused others.

It beats one why even the para-military personnel also found it necessary to also drive on our roads recklessly knocking other road users off the road without any justification.

But wait, if there is any justification, does that mean it is lawful to cause bodily harm on innocent road users?

In these recent years these reckless drivers have made it a point of duty to put on the blaring sirens on their vehicles with or without any emergency.

The bewildering part of this is when the siren blaring vehicle passes and when you looked at it, it is only the driver inside. That’s to tell you the irresponsibility of these drivers.

The authorities concerned however, do not seem to care about what is going on, because all this long, no one among these reckless drivers has been  brought to book for such infractions.

Not even a simple warning has been issued to them by their superiors against such behaviors.

People are suffering in silence coping with the attitude of fast moving and siren blaring vehicles, hoping that the authorities concerned would come to their rescue by putting a stop to it.

Yet, Kano state House of Assembly, though very much aware of it are not making a move to curtail it.

It is high time for the military, police and other para-military personnel to come to terms with reality and make amends in how they drive on our roads.

They should know that this is 21st century world where happenings around the world are seen instantly via modern technology, as such, we cannot be different with other climes in how our military and para-military personnel behave.

It is also the duty of our law-makers to wake up to their responsibility by coming up with enabling laws against such indiscipline being displayed on the roads by the same people paid to protect citizens and their properties.

On their part, the citizens should also come together to work for the stoppage of such immoral attitudes being displayed by the uniformed personnel as we are witnessing in Kano.

Bala Nasir, a journalist and public affairs commentator writes from Kano

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