Tolulope Arotile’s death: CNCRA calls for full investigation
• says demise full of mystery • as it decries nation's security, political recklessness
A coalition, the Conference of Nigeria Civil Rights Activists (CNCRA), has joined calls for a full investigation into the death of Flight Officer Tolulope Arotile of Nigeria Air Force (NAF), saying the demand became imperative as circumstances surrounding her death were full of mystery.
The call came as the coalition charged President Muhammadu Buhari not to close his eyes against security and political recklessness in the country so as not to rubbish Nigeria’s hard-earned democracy.
CNCRA made this demand on Saturday in a statement issued and signed by its Convener, Pastor Ifeanyi Odili, saying the group was reliably informed that Arotile, who the NAF authorities said died of a road traffic accident in Kaduna, left home after receiving a call from a senior officer, but was reluctant to accede to the demand.
“We demand a full investigation into the death of Flight Officer Tolulope Arotile of Nigeria Air Force as her death is full of mystery. We are reliably informed that Arotile left home after receiving a call from a senior officer, who asked her to come to the Air Force which she felt reluctant to go,” CNCRA said.
The coalition, while expressing its view on the country’s security in a statement titled: “Nigeria Operating in a State of Confusion, Deceit and Deception,” expressed disappointment, saying President Buhari was not doing enough in curbing the challenges in the sector.
CNCRA noted with dismay that the killings of the country’s military men at the battleground in the North- East as well as the alleged pull out recently of the military by about 356 soldiers who hinged their reasons on lack of sophisticated weapons to combat the Boko Haram was enough to prove that Nigerian government was not keen about stamping out these criminals.
According to the coalition, the instances also proved that some people are leveraging on the security challenges to take care of their narrow fancies which have portrayed Nigeria as a failed nation, saying they called for serious concern about the recklessness and carefree attitude of the federal government and the country’s military top brass.
“The CNCRA has noticed with charging the seemingly nonchalant attitude of PMB towards security matters in the country. To us in the CNCRA, PMB is not doing enough in curbing our security challenges.
“The killing of our soldiers at the battleground in the Northeast arising from the recklessness and carefree attitude of the federal government and military top brass has called for serious concern.
“The recent pull out of the military by 356 soldiers who hinged their reasons on lack of sophisticated ammunition to combat the Boko Haram was enough to prove that Nigerian government is not keen about stamping out these criminals and it also proved that some people are leveraging on our security challenges to take care of their narrow fancies which have portrayed Nigeria as a failed nation,” CNCRA said.
The coalition, while citing the examples of Major General Adeniyi, a former commander of Nigerian Army’s Operation Lafiya Dole, the counter-terrorism command in the North-East, who was court-martial for appearing in a video in March, complaining about poor equipment after an attack by Boko Haram terrorists left dozens of soldiers dead, and a Lance Corporal Martins who was arrested on the orders of Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff, for berating the nation’s security chiefs for deliberately not acting to stop the incessant killings of Nigerians by terrorists and armed bandits, made some further demands.
It demanded that the trial of Gen. Adeniyi at the court-martial be cancelled with immediate effect, while the immediate release of Lance Corporal Martins of the Nigerian Army is affected as well as the immediate release from various detention of others soldiers who were found to have challenged “the military high commission for the inadequacy of ammunition to combat the bandits and Boko Haram.”
Speaking further, the coalition sadly noted that the losses incurred by the Armed Forces and the security agencies were essential because officers on postings were not familiar with the terrain of their operations, and, therefore, demanded that personnel should be made to function and operate within their regions of origins.
CNCRA said this was because they are familiar with the geography of their region and could easily communicate with the indigenes, arguing that this would improve their efficacy and reduce their losses.
“For the losses incurred by the armed forces and the security agencies are essential because they are not familiar with the terrain of their operations.
“For this reason, we demand that armed forces personnel should be made to function and operate within their regions of origins because they are familiar with the geography of their region and they can easily communicate with the indigenes and this would improve their efficacy and reduce their losses. That is, those whose origin is South-West should function and operate within the South-West region into five other geo-political zones,” the coalition demanded.
“Any other arrangements different from the above will be vehemently opposed as we are set for another round of face-off with the government of Nigeria just as we did in the dreaded days of the military juntas,” it warned.