APC Scandinavia leader praises Nigerian Army

Mr. Lawal says the Nigerian Army did an honorable thing

Mr. Lawal says the Nigerian Army did an honorable thing

The chairman/national coordinator of All Progressives Congress (APC) Scandinavia, Ayoola Lawal, has commended the Nigerian Army for listening to the outcry of Nigerians and walking the path of honor by reviewing the death sentences passed on the 66 soldiers accused of insurrection and mutiny.

Mr. Lawal referenced a statement credited to the Nigerian Army spokesman, Col. Usman Sanni, saying “the death sentences by firing squad passed on 66 soldiers in January and March 2015 by separate General Court Martials have been commuted to 10 years imprisonment each.

‘”The sentence review was a confirmation of the attentive leadership of the new C-in-C of the Nigerian Armed Forces. However, it is a known fact that the majority of Nigerians are not in the professional position to pass comment on what were purely military judgments. “Meanwhile, in the light of the emerging facts on the Dasukigate and others, it will be more honourable and humane if the Nigerian Army can delve further into the review of the 10-year sentence by relating it to the unfolding developments of the $2.1 billion meant for the procurement of the weapons to prosecute the insurgency in North Eastern Nigeria but intentionally diverted for personal and political purposes by the office of the National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd.),” he said.

According to Lawal, it is sad and unfortunate that the senior officers that were supposed to investigate the matter could not trace the investigations to the reality of non-availability of weapons as claimed by the convicted soldiers before the sentence.

“Special thanks to concerned Nigerians for their outcry and as well, the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, the convicted brave men in uniform would have been killed by firing squad.

“As much as Nigeria or her citizens would neither allow nor encourage any act of gross misconduct in the force, it will amount to the act of wickedness and injustice if the leaders that were supposed to provide leadership, cater for the well-being and also arm the followers with the appropriate tools refused but later turned to blame the followers for bad followership. As a matter of fairness, justice and patriotism, the convicted 66 soldiers should not be made the casualties of bad leadership of the past administration.

“I call on all well-meaning and concerned Nigerians home and in the Diaspora to join hands further in imploring the C-in-C and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, to please, order the review of the 10 year sentence and possibly grant the convicted brave men a presidential pardon,” Lawal pleaded.

He further warned that if the conviction is not handled with care, dismissing the 66 soldiers or sentencing them may further harden their hearts thereby making them a threat to the society upon release.

Lawal noted that “These brave men have acquired survival skills, so we should be careful how we force them to use the skills acquired from the Army. Nobody is even asking what will happen after the 10 year jail term. Will they be re-absorbed into the system or dismissed?

“Similarly, prominent Nigerians were pleading for amnesty for the terrorist group, Boko Haram, even as some of the arrested members of the sect were released, I therefore suggest Federal Government come in to give the brave men pardon.”

He also noted that it is understandable that the military has set rules and guidelines, but advised that it be laid aside to save the innocent soldiers who displayed readiness to prosecute the battle against terror but were held back by lack of ammunition, which they protested.

 
 
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