The alleged public humiliation tendered by some military officials to an unidentified lady for wearing army camouflage has been garnering mixed reactions on the internet.
A picture of the incident posted on social media has gone viral and it showed the victim being forced to pull down her trousers in broad day light.
In the same picture, a soldier bent closely towards the victim, who looked terrified and appeared to be begging another officer whose face was hidden.
Although the time, location and circumstances surrounding the incident could not be established, it was hinted the lady was harassment somewhere in the northern part of the country for wearing the army
As expected, occurrences such as these always spark anger among Nigerians who feel the army could have a better and more civilized way of dishing punishment to whoever violates its law. Some citizens who commented on the incident said the victim was dehumanized for expressing her love for army camouflage.
One of the social media users, Sweatland said:
“In a sane country, these men would be arrested, charged, convicted and jailed! The Nigerian Army makes it very easy for civilians to hate them. Even when they die in battles, I don’t pity them! Is there any law that says civilians can’t wear camouflage? If yes, is the prescribed punishment stripping the suspect?”
Another user, Isaac said:
“Nigerians are primitive and crude. In Dubai, camouflage is sold in all their boutiques and anyone is free to buy. I even bought it, which I wore down to Nigeria the last time I travelled. People wear it everywhere in other countries and their soldiers even like it; they feel honoured that the people are identifying with them.”
While the above comments condemn the actions of the soldiers, others deem it appropriate measures to discipline citizens who violate the army laws.
The Nigeria Army has warned civilians to deceased from putting on army camouflage in the past. It can be recalled that the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, stated in a media interview that doing so is an offence deserving of a one-month jail term.
In a statement issued by Gen Usman on March, he said:
“It is an offence [to wear army camouflage]. I expected journalists to have done their homework very well. The Penal Code is there. And I think the punishment is even mild.
“Knowing what the law says about wearing military camouflage is part of the basic civic responsibility. I also know that ignorance of the law is not an excuse.
“However, for the benefit of the doubt, please know that Sections 110 & 111 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act states:
“Any person who unlawfully wears the uniform of forces, etc. L.N. 112 of 1964. 1967 No. 27(1) not being a person serving in any of the armed forces of Nigeria, wears the uniform or any part of the uniform of such forces, or any of the armed dress having the appearance or bearing any of the regimental or other distinctive marks of such uniforms; or (2) not being a person holding any office or authority under the Government of Nigeria or of any part thereof, wears any uniform or distinctive badge or mark or carries any token calculated to convey the impression that such person holds any office or authority under the government; is guilty of an offence and is liable to imprisonment for one month, or to a fine of N10, unless he proves that he had the permission of the President or of the Governor of a State to wear such uniform or dress, badge or mark or to carry such token:
“Provided that this section shall not apply to the wearing of any uniform or dress in the course of a stage play or in any bona fide public entertainment.”