A Nigerian lawmaker in the second republic, Dr Junaid Mohammed, has called for the immediate release of Lance Corporal Martins, a soldier in the Nigerian Army, who was arrested after making a video blasting the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, and other security chiefs of the country.
The soldier was arrested on the order of Buratai. Martins said Buratai and other security chiefs in the country had failed in their responsibilities to defend the country.
Calling for the release of the soldier, Mohammed said the soldier spoke the ‘simple truth’ about the Nigerian Army and did not deserve to be detained.
He stated that Buratai and the military were treating Lance Corporal Martins in an unfair manner, adding that the soldier should not be detained arbitrarily.
Mohammed said, “The simple truth is that the Nigerian Army under Buratai has failed and is also failing.
“Under normal circumstances, the responsibility of the armed forces is to defend the country against the external enemy because the primary responsibility is to make sure that enemies of Nigeria don’t get the opportunity to either destroy the country or facilitate the killings of innocent Nigerians.
“In all these areas, the Nigerian Armed Forces have failed particularly the Nigerian Army under Buratai who is more of a businessman.
“There is the issue of what is acceptable within the Armed Forces, can a soldier criticise the army, I think not. But when the internal channels provided for the service are not available or perhaps people who have genuine grievances for themselves or for the service or people of the country are muscled deliberately then of course other channels must be opened.
“What he said is true. They can only quarrel with his motivation but what he said about insecurity is true. It is only a lousy army like the likes of Buratai who have been appointed not on merit but other considerations. They are being unfair to the person and if they have any sense, they should release him.”
He added, “He (Lance Corporal Martins) should be released. This injustice has become the order of the day under Buratai.
“As far as I’m concerned, nobody should be above the law but at the same time, nobody should be subjected to arbitrary detention and trials.
“The man must be released, if not I will endorse overwhelming and any attempts by his colleagues to free him.”
Mohammed dispelled claims that Buratai had been able to foil about 15 coup d’tat against the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
He adds, “If anybody wants to carry out a coup, General Buhari has given enough reason for anyone who is ambitious or reckless enough to want to try to go ahead.
“If he refuses to continue to ignore the voices of the people, this is an open invitation to rebellion or uprising. If the situation in the North West and country continues, we are heading towards disaster.”