Soldiers beat women!! I don’t think there’s a good enough reason for a man to raise his hand on a woman how much more soldiers over-stepping their boundaries and beating up women who could be their wives, mothers or sisters. Remembering the usual Nigerian saying that ‘if a soldier slaps you, then you’ll know that police is your friend’, really makes me feel for these women who fell victim to military brutality, especially the aged ones among them.
About 500 women who staged a protest at Ovre-Eku, Iwevbo Community in Delta state yesterday received an unanticipated beating-of-their lives as 10 soldiers unleashed terror on them by flogging and marching on them with their boots just as was common during the military regime.
The women embarked on the demonstration in order to express their displeasure over a land which have been in dispute for years between Edo and Delta states and was eventually sold to an unnamed oil company, Vanguard reports.
The upset women gathered at the Eku community, all dressed in black. They were reported to have marched to the site carrying a coffin covered in palm fronds and when they arrived the site at about 10:45a.m, they were waylaid by 10 soldiers who commanded them to go away from the site. But instead of leaving, the angry women were bent on being addressed by a representative of the oil company.
The ‘stubbornness’ of the women stirred up the beast in the military men and as a result, they flogged them without mercy and used boots on them at the command of a senior military officer identified to be the site unit commander, Lt. E. D. Oworobo, who initially threatened to shoot the women.
While the younger women managed to flee into nearby bushes in the site amidst the soldiers’ hot pursuit, older women, some aged around 80 years, who could not run as fast as the others were trampled upon by the soldiers as others were beaten with tree branches.
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Meanwhile, at about 11:30a.m, the hot-blooded soldiers again went out of control with anger as they invaded parts of Ovre-Eku community and destroyed nine motorcycles and 13 bicycles, while residents of the community ran for their lives, consequent to the arrival of the soldiers in a white Toyota Hilux van.
When the Unit Commander was contacted to make comments on the issue he attacked the reporter with harsh words, calling him an “idiot and mad man”.
I wonder why soldiers have decided to turn against the citizens that they are are supposed to protect. A similar story was recorded last year when soldiers from the 302 Battalion of the Nigerian army in Onitsha, were allegedly molesting easterners travelling home for Christmas and New year celebrations at Onitsha Head Bridge.