PERMIT me to use your medium to ventilate my heartfelt concern on the state of injustice in high places in the Nigerian society, especially in an establishment where it is least expected, such as the Military.
Like corruption, injustice is a social malady that has inflicted serious injury on the psyche of the nation and damage Nigeria’s reputation among the comity of nations. It’s now manifesting in the Nigerian Armed Forces especially.
Irrespective of socio-economic status, people are unjustly denied their rights and privileges which include and not limited to; the right to employment, right to academic admission, right to healthcare services, right of access to benefits as well as the right to due promotion.
While injustice goes on unabated in every other sphere of our national life, it is least expected that such could thrive in the Military which should be the hallmark of discipline, justice, and equity.
Recent happenings in the Military circle of men and officers that were unduly retired from service without reaching retirement age or service year, those that were dismissed on frivolous grounds and those that were denied their promotions.
A visit to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria will baffle one as the majority of litigations heard almost on daily basis has to do with allegations of injustice against Military authorities (Army, Navy and Air Force).
Of recent are insinuations in certain quarters by senior officers in the Military (Navy) over the last promotion exercise.
Some officers whose elevation to higher positions attached to their expected promotions could not attain top positions because they were denied promotion
There are some cases of senior Navy Captains in some depts. who were not promoted for 2 consecutive years now, despite attending National Defence College which was the last criteria of Military training before being promoted to commodore, yet others like some nurses were promoted. This being the first time it happened in the history of the Nigerian Navy and did not even merit it (Promotion).
In fact, it was authoritatively revealed and printed in the signal to this affected officers that their names were initially on the promotion list but at the eleventh hour, it was removed completely or replaced some since 2 years back.
To the amazement of some officers, their junior ones were promoted to commodores and were elevated to their detriment. All these injustices and unfair treatment would truncate those cheated to lose their seniorities and subsequently be retired after 3 years without promotion.
This is gross injustice and denial of right and privilege
I am using this medium, therefore, to call on President Muhammadu Buhari as Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces and also a retired Army General who should be in a better position to value due and just promotion and the honour of wearing deserved military ranks by men and officers, to take a critical look at promotion exercise in the Military.
The President should as a matter of urgency, declare a ‘state of emergency’ in the Military promotion and wage serious war against injustice with equal might and state apparatus with which the administration is fighting corruption.
It is high time Nigerians live in a just society.
*Sheihk T. Oyebanji sent this piece from Prince & Princess, Abuja.