Governor wants soldiers sacked for brutalising physically- challenged man
Ebonyi State governor, David Umahi, yesterday condemned the brutal attack on Chijioke Uraku by two soldiers for wearing military camouflage demanding that the two officers should be sack. Uraku, who is physically challenged, was brutalized at Onitsha, Anambra State for being camouflage shorts.
The governor insisted that the 21 days imprisonment and demotion of the two soldiers by the military authorities were not enough punishment, though he commended the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai and the GOC, 82 Division Enugu for their quick response.
The governor made his feelings known while receiving Uraku, who hails from Itemu Amagu in Ikwo Local Council of the state at the government house, Abakaliki, yesterday, noting that the soldiers’ behaviours were terrible.
He said: “This young man’s encounter with the army was very dehumanizing. The behaviour of the two soldiers was so terrible. They behaved as if they have no fear of God in their hearts. I’m sure many of you did not watch that video but for those who watched it, even if he is not our brother and he is a human being, you must feel the way we are feeling. I suggest that those two soldiers be sacked and prosecuted.”
He also commended the governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano, who he said had sought to rehabilitate Uraku, before Ebonyi State government sent for him as an indigene of the state.
Umahi donated N500,000 to Uraku for his treatment and directed his Special Adviser on Religion and Welfare, Rev. Fr. Abraham Nwali, to take custody of the physically-challenged man and see ways by which government could rehabilitate him.
Meanwhile, the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has condemned in strong terms the assault on Uraku. The group noted that every citizen of the country is governed by the rule of law and entitled to respect and dignity as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Article 15 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which provides for “freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
In a statement made available to The Guardian, the Executive Director, CCD, David O. Anyaele, described the act as “inhumane and barbaric”.
The group demanded the Minister of Defense and the Chief of Army Staff to not only prosecute the cruel behaviour of its officers but also tender a public apology to the entire disability community for the action.