According to a report by SaharaReporters, many residents of the Oyigbo community in Rivers State have lamented the high rate of human rights violations unleashed on them by men of the Nigerian Army stationed in the town.
One of the residents who spoke to FIJ cited a recent case of harassment, where some soldiers arrested a 20-year-old student and shaved his head.
He noted, “On October 26, 2021, some soldiers stationed at the express arrested a boy who had a decent looking dreadlock and shaved his head with a razor blade and scissors. He did not do anything to them. The soldiers were just not comfortable seeing young men on dreadlocks.”
The soldiers reportedly stopped the young man and asked where he was heading and why he had dreadlocks. However, without waiting for a response from the young man, they ordered him to sit while they shaved his head.
According to him, soldiers always harass young people living around the Oyigbo express junction, sometimes extorting money from them and seizing their mobile phones.
“In recent times, what most of these soldiers do is call young boys and seize their phones from them. They also collect money from these men. They don’t do it in the open so their bosses will not be aware,” he said.
“Last week Wednesday, at about 9:30 pm, the soldiers ordered everyone at the express junction to close their shops. While people were packing their goods back into their shops, the soldiers began to beat many of them with a horsewhip.”
The resident further noted that prior to the arrival of the soldiers in the town, young men moved freely, but their presence has put an end to the peace and freedom the community once enjoyed.
Onyema Nwachukwu, the spokesperson for the army told the newspaper that the issue would be addressed with immediate effect.
He said in the past, soldiers found guilty of doing such were withdrawn.