In Nigeria, uniformed men have a superiority complex and boss citizens around.
There is still a sense of fear when a civilian sees a soldier or soldiers on the streets.
On my way to work one early morning, we came across Nigerian soldiers on the road who were having their routine regular march. For some reason best known to them, they had blocked the road and stopped traffic so that they could march. They robbed average Nigerians of valuable minutes needed to get to work on time.
As their boots hit the concrete with conviction and precision they threatened civilians not to record them. I didn't listen. I brought out my iPhone to capture the event. One of the soldiers saw me and barked at me to stop recording. Fear gripped me. I stopped recording.
Why was I scared? You see, the military in Nigeria acts like it is above the law. A soldier can beat up a civilian for the flimsiest of reasons with no consequences. This happens a lot because of Nigeria military background.
The country has witnessed a lot of military coups. And when soldiers take over they do so with force. To bring order into the country, they use force and violence. They beat up citizens. After so many years of military regimes, Nigerians have come to see an average soldier as an oppressor.
"So policeman go slap your face. You no go talk. Army man go whip your yansh. You go they look like donkey" sang Fela on "Sorrow, Tears & Blood." This still goes on today and doesn't apply to only soldiers. Uniformed men exert their authority on civilians in demeaning ways.
The rule of law doesn't apply to them or so they believe. From soldiers to Men-O-War members, they have this superior mentality that they are better than the average Nigerian. Unfortunately, Nigerians do not know their rights and allowed these uniform men ride all over them.
Soldiers and other uniform men are not above Nigerians. They are Nigerians and they should treat people with respect.