By Abiodun OBA
The Nigerian Army has arrested the soldier who lampooned the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for ordering the arrest of his colleague alongside three other motorcyclists for driving against traffic on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, condemned the conduct of the soldier, saying it is against the discipline of the force.
Lagbaja while addressing journalists on Tuesday in Enugu on the conduct of the soldiers, said the soldiers have been arrested and an investigation is ongoing on others who had acted in similar manner.
“The Army has investigated, and the soldier has been apprehended and we are investigating for every other comical that you have seen on social media,” he said.
Recall, a soldier reportedly slammed Sanwo-Olu following the arrest of his colleague alongside three other motorcyclists for driving against traffic on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
The yet-to-be-identified soldier in a viral video defended his colleague and faulted Sanwo-Olu for calling a soldier ‘useless’ in the presence of ‘bastard civilians’.
He said the state governor had no right to arrest a soldier, especially in front of his barracks, noting that soldiers are not under the control of any state governor but their senior officers.
Reacting to the development, Lagbaja said the soldier arrested for plying one way does not represent the Nigerian Army, saying that the action contravenes the discipline of the force and the constitution of the state.
He said, “I want to say that the soldier that was apprehended by the governor of Lagos State while plying on a one way, does not represent the Nigerian Army because, in every respect, it contravenes what we stand for which is discipline as an Army and the constitution and the laws of Lagos state.”
The CoAS, however, noted that contrary to the claims that three officers of the force had come out to defend their colleague and faulted the state governor, only one of them was an officer of the force.
“And we frown at that as Army but what you alleged that soldiers have gone to the social media casting aspersions on the person and the office of the governor of Lagos State, I will say it’s only one soldier that has done that. The others are not personnel of the Nigerian Army.
“We have investigated the mode of dressing of some of them, and you will know that they are not personnel of the Nigerian Army.
“One of them was wearing the badge upside down and you will know that that is not personnel of the Nigerian Army. An officer can never do that. And from the utterances that these people made, you’ll know the angle from which they are talking. They are talking about politics, not the Army.
“So, we will leave it like that for the ones that pertain to the army we are investigating to be treated accordingly.”
Speaking further, Lagbaja said the troops will be sensitised on discipline and law-abiding to the constitution of communities where they are posted to discharge their duties.
“Even this morning as I arrived in Enugu, the Chief of Administration, Army, sent me a draft directive that he was sending down to all formations and units of the Nigerian Army to further sensitise our troops on the need to be disciplined and abide by the laws of every community where they are deployed.
“So, we are serious about upholding laws, and rules and remaining disciplined and we will enforce that on our personnel,” assured.
Sanwo-Olu had ordered the arrest of a soldier and three other motorcyclists for driving against traffic on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
In a viral video, Sanwo-Olu was seen ordering his men to put one of the motorcyclists who claimed to be a soldier into the vehicle, stating that he was going to lock him up.