I read in The Guardian newspaper, of Saturday 20th June 2009, a disturbing story about some soldiers given life sentences for mutinous activity. The story (Admin: reproduced below) highlighted the particular case of Esther Nwakor. I found this very disturbing that a young person’s life is tragically being wasted for engaging in a protest. I understand that the army has a code of conduct, having graduated from the Nigerian Military School (Zaria) myself, but this case is stretching the army’s code very inhumanely.

A dismissal from the army would have sufficed as appropriate for this crime (I will admit that I don’t have the full details of the case). As long as nobody physically harmed or threatened by the said mutinous activity by the soldiers, a life sentence is gross injustice. We Nigerians know all the imperfections of our present way of life at the same time we want justice applied equally to every one irrespective of rank and standing in society. As much as the army wants to send a message out to the force, the army should strive and stand for fairness. The humanity in us is not being kind when things are rosey, but from those acts we make in perilous times.

One of the many tragedies of Nigeria today is how we waste lives of young people. Given my limited knowledge of the whole case I hope a campaign for an amnesty is justifiable.

I also want to use this opportunity to congratulate your website on the good work you are doing. Thanks in advance.

Yours faithfully,

Muhammed Bashiru (PhD).