This video of a female cadet torturing a civilian does more harm to the image of the Nigerian military

“Your blood is nothing. Is that clear,” said a female cadet to a young man who was bleeding after he was assaulted by young military trainees of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA). The young man had complimented the female cadet on her beauty, and what he got in response to his compliment were incessant slaps across his face, knocks on his head, and kicks until he bled.

The incident was captured on camera, and the video had since gone viral but only recently drawn the attention of the Nigerian Army. Yesterday, in a series of tweets, the Nigerian Army said that the NDA was conducting investigations and preliminary findings confirmed the incident to have taken place in Lagos a year ago while the cadets were on break.

“What is beautiful about me,” the cadet asked the young man in between slaps. “I will deaf you … deaf your mother, you bastard,” she said slapping him some more with other cadets joining in the torture. And when he started to bleed, she ordered him to take off his shirt to clean the blood, “We’ve used our blood. Is that clear? During [our] course of training, I broke my shoulder. Is that clear? [So] Your blood is nothing …” she said, most likely referring to the harsh military training cadets undergo in the academy. She also did not fail to mention to the young man that they were training to become military officers because of civilians like him.

So far the video has served a platform for a debate on sexual harassment. While a good number of Nigerians detest the treatment given to the young man, and called the behaviour of the cadets shameful, inhumane, and “an act of brutality”, others are of the opinion that it served him right, and that the young woman was only standing up for herself, and relatively for other women who are constantly being subjected to cat calls and sexual harassment. A young lady, Nkem, told Ventures Africa that she may do the same if she had the power to. “I don’t blame the girl. If I were in a position of power, I would have done the same to men who pass annoying comments to me in public.”

The video also does not speak well of the future of the Nigerian military, especially at a time when there are  several allegations of human rights violations from within the country, and international organizations.

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