ABIA: HOW SOLDIERS BRUTALISED YOUTH LEADER
The mounting desperation of politicians to win election in some communities in Abia State has made Abia indigenes to express strong concern over the role played by soldiers during the April 2 cancelled National Assembly election in the state.
This is because politicians allegedly used soldiers to do their bidding.
The ugly situation was played out at Umuchieze and Leru communities, where voters had staged a poll boycott when soldiers in Armored Personnel Carrier (APC), stormed a polling unit and arrested a youth leader at the instance of the deputy transition chairman of a Local Government Council.
The youth leader, Alloy Nwabueze, in Umuchieze community, a 200 level law student of Abia State University Uturu, was maltreated by the soldiers for daring to question why posters of PDP candidates should hang at the polling unit.
Nwabueze who was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday with stripes of horsewhips still etched on his back narrated to newsmen yesterday how he was tortured and brutalized by soldiers on the orders of a local politician. According to him, a female PDP stakeholder in his community had falsely pointed him out to the soldiers as being among the youths that slapped her. He swaid without any attempt to find out the truth, the soldiers pounced on him and almost sent him to an early grave.
'That report was the beginning of my ordeal as the soldiers picked me up and threw me into the Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) accusing me of being a cultist and a thug. 'I was stripped naked, tortured and would have even been wasted before help came from another officer, who stopped them and asked what I had done. Eventually when they narrated my offence to him, he decided to question me to find out the truth and in that process, God used him to grant me freedom. He found out that I was a victim of political victimization. He ordered my immediate release.'
Nwabueze decried the victimization and stated that: 'Security agents should know that they are not working for the government in power. They should stop creating fears and intimidating people in the rural areas.'
The assistant director, Army Pubic Relations, 82 Division Enugu, Lt Col. Sagir Musa, who reacted in the incident said: 'Real soldiers will never contemplate to torture, harass or being partisan during this election. They will never take orders from politicians because they are not their superiors.'
According to him, it was mandatory for soldiers to continue to patrol Abia state before, during, and after the elections, mere seeing APC in the outer area of polling station doesn't constitute partisanship.'
He also warned that soldiers should not be dragged into political issues and urged any aggrieved person to report to the Commander or the office of the army public relations for necessary measures.