Rear Admiral Arogundade: Before You Raise The Koboko

by Charles Sogbesan

I can’t remember who exactly is responsible for the adage that, “Nigerians have no elastic limit” you could stretch it all you want, they will not break.

If there was ever any cincher that social conditioning, apathy and adaptation have sealed our faith, it is in our inclination towards jurisdiction. It is as predictable as our society is stagnant.

From his air conditioned salon car, Arogundade could count on this, this is why he never bothered to get out of his conditioned space, and sitting in the owner’s corner, oblivious to the outside, and this was no different from any other day. In the front seat of the car, was probably one of his orderlies, telling his master not to get out of the “Fehicle” ‘we will deal with this nuisance
The next time, Arogundade decides to predict our inclination to authority, he will have to think twice. He will have to think about, the cost, his reputation, his very own survival.

Arogundade met his match in technology (the evidence was also videotaped by a phone camera), most of all he met his match in Uzoma Okere. I am so proud of you, I am proud not only because you fought back on this faithful day, I am proud that you fought all the way, yes you fought it all the way through, defying all the odds, not hanging on to the words and advices of so called elders, status quo establishment degenerates who would have proffered “let sleeping dogs lie” The problem is, if the dog had not been lying down for the past 35 years, we will not be where we are today.

The sleeping dogs that allowed us not to have elastic limits, to accept injustice, inferiority, the second rate and unexceptional. Uzoma, you’re my hero today, you took it all the way you could.
An imperfect institution (Which Opeyemi works under) also unhindered you in this course, Opeyemi Oke, today you’re the silent hero in this, you are, because you know the consequences of your actions. Of course this could not have happened 16 years ago. Not that you or your fellow incorruptible judges are any safer from the misdemeanor of the system yesterday or today, thank you though for your backbone and blindness in the administration of this “JUSTICE”.
This is justice, is it not?

Certain ideas such as Human rights have widespread acceptance, some are natural, some are legal, and in our very imperfect society we rely heavily on some basic ideas. In the absence of others, certainly some are non negotiable. The recognition of the inherent dignity and of the inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. This is the preamble to the declaration of human rights in 1948.

Arogundade, you take advantage of the imperfections of the society that allows you to carry on with impunity, as you carried on with impunity, you became a rear admiral without winning any naval battles, like your other 4 star, ’55 inches waist” generals with no reckonable war victories, yet man the various corporations as board members (Do a non scientific calculation on what percentage of Nigerian companies have ex military men as board members; on what retirement/salary).

They serve as contractors, as senate presidents, as governors, as party chairmen, the commonwealth that allows these dispensations, you spit on.

You curse it, you abuse it, you pooh-pooh, It may have been better if you carried on and left us to our antipathy. In Uzoma, you met your match; in Opeyemi you met your match.

This is what Opeyemi said, “Harry Arogundade should be held responsible for the conduct of the naval ratings, these people are not fit for a decent society!” He went on to call them barbaric.
“Miss Okere was brutalized, beaten, pushed, pulled and dragged on the road and her blouse pulled off her by one of the naval ratings thereby exposing her nakedness from waist up, leaving her with only the brassiere. This was done to a young lady, a citizen of this country,” lamented the judge.

Uzoma, somebody’s daughter, somebody’s sister, somebody’s aunt, somebody’s relative, a Nigerian. This is 2010; fellow Nigerians and some of you stood there watching these events, some of you left this lady to fight her own battles. Your numbers, judging by the video far outnumbered the hirelings, well, 2 brave Nigerians have fought and will win their judgment,
Uzoma and Abdullahi, together with the 3rd brave Nigerian, Opeyemi have acted.

It’s not asking too much for Uzoma to wake up and not ask for too much, to get dressed, do her job, don’t bother anybody, exist, meander, socialize and take in a ‘fresh’ air. Is that too much? Is it too much to not be harassed every single moment by a so called “VIP” in a convoy of cars driven by possessed psychopaths? Is it too much to ask all Nigerians to wait in line for service?

Is it asking too much for you as a “soldier man” to learn decency when you speak to your fellow Nigerian? Do you have fathers? Do you have mothers? Did they teach you etiquette in military school? Arogundade the arrogance of your power is logical, it’s logical because your assumption of your people’s elasticity was predictable until now.

It is important that who ever controls the wheels of this sovereignty make Arogundade pay; I could care less about his sub ordinates. In the military (of which he’s a leader), he must accept full responsibly. In the democratic society which his military is subservient to, they must comply, otherwise it will be a sham. Arogundade must lose a rank or 2, hopefully he will resign in disgrace, when lower ranking officers will demand ‘sir” from him, respect he could have gotten on the battle field, not from a mate of his daughter.

Arogundade, before you raise your koboko next time, you will think of this judgment.
And this is what it says, you sir are liable to the tune of N100 million naira for assaulting your fellow Nigerian (at peace time) and I quote,” after going through the documentary evidence, it was a clear case of res inter locutor (facts speak for themselves), adding that no amount of money can adequately compensate the violation of a persons’ human dignity.
Justice Opeyemi Oke added: “Miss Okere was violated by the ratings in glaring eyes of the public with her upper anatomy exposed to all sorts of eyes. Her private property became the object of a cinema for those who witnessed the unfortunate and disgraceful incident in a country like ours.
This was man’s inhumanity to man.”
Like the Bode George judgment, at risks to themselves certain anomalies are coming out of the judiciary. Principle above greed is a theme regenerating over and over again. This is good news

I was going to embark on a critique of the Nigerian judiciary, a criticism that would have delved into the various sharp (and leaden) practices of the judiciary from the slow dispensation of justice to the colonial abliments to the outdated confab to the its arrogance to its corruption. That will have to wait.

Again today is a good day, Opeyemi Oke is my hero today.

16 years is not a long time to forget about the peculiarity called noncivil (mis)rule,
It is quite obvious that some still carry the non civility around wherever they go, the acceleration towards the bottom has apparently not ceased, they still abuse their citizenry, inebriated or drug crazed, some still partake in the Espirit de corp. A few weeks ago, a Nigerian resident in t

he US
(Too bad for the General who ordered his manhandling) who happened to be a brother in law of the present IG, was beaten at the airport (Abuja) in the presence of the SSS, in the full glare of Nigerian citizens. All Uche Onyeanusi did, was to tell another degenerate, a Brigadier General
Jacob (I doubt) Olajide to get in line like everybody else, before boarding a Arik airline flight from Lagos to Abuja. Get in line!, Get in line !, is that too much to ask?
I hope Onyeanusi does not succumb to the typical back room deal slash apology slash solution.
I hope he takes it all the way, that’s the way its done where he came from.
Take him to blind justice, and let the blind lady with the sword decide.

It is to the Unfamiliar to think this is a blanket dismissal of the military community as a whole. I am aware of hierarchy problems in the military, the tribal problems, the promotion problems, the abuse of the lower ranks and tribe over competency problems.

My problem is with the misplaced aggression, is it a civilian that stole the Akure rioter’s compensations? Is it a civilian the steals military budget allocations? Is it the civilian that executes shoddy contracts at military bases? Is it the civilian that stole Ecomog allocations?

These misplaced aggressions should be directed where it belongs, the upper echelons who are corrupt, suffer from inferiority complexes (why else would you assault your fellow Nigerian)

When you put your life in danger defending your country, we have nothing but gratitude, we have seen soldiers from civilized countries, we have seen their professionalism and how they carry themselves. When 27 soldiers of the 15th Nigerian battalion (who served in Liberia) were convicted for riot and given life sentences, observers such as me were uniform in our condemnation.
We could see through the sentence that it was unfair; as a matter of fact a respected Human rights lawyer (Femi Falana) was part of the legal representation.

When the sentences were commuted to 7 years, we were still uniform in our condemnation, it is my sincere hope that the government (whenever they get their act together) reduce the sentences further and maybe offer you slight rebuke, it is understandable for one to act irrationally when $1 million of your operational allowances has been stolen and you have to appeal to the one that stole your money, due to complicated rules of chain and command. The bulk of the blame lies with the chain and command.

Just because you carry a gun, does not mean you should intimidate us, your boots does not belong in our buttocks; display your aggression where it is needed.

Even France told the always rude Parisians how to treat foreigners. Parisians are changing.
When the Olympics came to China, Beijingers (People in Beijing) were told how among other etiquette, how not to act in public, not to spit in public, jumping onto moving trains, throwing cigarette butts all over, how to deal with people of a different culture; it was all to be linked to the image of the Olympics, in the long term, it was to be linked to the image of the country as a whole.

Your image is linked to ours, you are not that foreign, you have “civilian: relatives, unless your 5 year old or your grandmother is also a “forceman”

We love you, but we pay your salary.

You may also like


Sola Bolarinwa January 30, 2010 - 1:35 pm

This is really incredible in the year 2010. Is the man still in the Navy ?

abatakan January 30, 2010 - 10:32 am

Thank You!Thank You!Thank You!Concise and truly written from the heart, feels the pain of Charles Sogbesan and others that despises what they have Nigeria to another banana repulic.


Leave a Comment