Retired Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Adeka has said that issues relating to the welfare of military personnel must be addressed to minimise complaints of human rights abuse among them.
Adeka, who is the Special Adviser on Security in Nasarawa State, made the suggestion at the Presidential panel Investigating allegations of the abuse of human rights by the military in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said if the welfare of military personnel were taken care of there would be few reports of violation of human rights against them. “The families of the soldiers also should be catered for, there should be regular payment for the upkeep of their families. ”
When their family welfare is not cared for it would affect the soldiers “attitude toward those around them and that may cause right violation.”
Their transportation should be adequately provided and they should properly be equipped with bullet proof, night fighting goggles, among other things,” he said.
Adeka also said mistakes or acts of violation by soldiers should be properly investigated and appropriate measures taken to address them. He said the Standing Operative Procedure, known as SOP, should be applied because the military is a highly procedural organisation.
“The soldiers should be marched, not only in the battlefield, but also in the barracks and their conducts regulated.
“The military should not go to war without adequate communication equipment and maps,” Adeka said.
The Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Aug. 21 inaugurated the panel to review compliance of the Armed Forces with Human Rights’ obligations and rules of engagement in the fight against terrorism.
Osinbajo said the panel would investigate allegations of human rights abuse against the military by Amnesty International. Amnesty International had alleged that the military committed several human rights abuses in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast region.
Amnesty reported in 2016 that 240 people, including infants, died in military detention camps in the Northeast.
The organisation also alleged that the military killed 177 pro-Biafra agitators extra-judicially the same year.
The vice-president said all the allegations being levelled against the armed forces and other security agencies must not go unaddressed so as to safeguard the good image of Nigeria.