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Shvoong Home>Books>my command Review

my command

Article Review   by:EROMONSELE     Original Authors: PRESIDENT; OLUSEGUN OBANSANJO
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I remained at my station in kaduna until i was
posted

to


take over what was then know as 2 Area Command. 2
Area


command was by then virtually a one battalion

formation.


this second battailon was less than seven hundred
men


strong and had fewer than a hundred rifles on
charge,

with


fewer than twenty rounds of ammunation per rifles .

There


was one machine gun, i mortar,no recoilles rifle
and

one


set of clothing per soldier.The battalion had one
land


rover and two trucks issued to it. At the same
time,

the


relationship between the soldiers and the civilian


population was strained almost to breaking point.
This

was


caused by the authoritarian behaviour and high-

handedness


of some soldiers .


My first task was that of restoring
mutual


confidence and trust amongst the soldiers and
between

the


soldiers and the civilians.I discovered that apart
from


group affinity and loyality, language was the
second

cause


of friction, suspicion and fears among the

soldiers .The


action of a few of the officer did not help, but
rather


worsened the situation.I instructed that English,
which

is


the nations official language would be the medium
of


communication through out the units. All soldiers
were

also


ordered to sleep in their barracks and to desist
from

any


act of molestation of civilians . Offenders were

severly


punished . Corporal punishment was not
excluded;infact,

it


was very effective.I remember the story of a
sergeant

who,


without permission, drove to Lagos in an Army Land

Rover to


see his "brother" without regards for, and over the

heads


of all his superior officers in his unit and the
Area


Command in Ibadan.


The case was reported to me. I had the
sergeant


formally charge for conduct prejudicial to good
order

and


military discipline and for use of a government
vehicle

on


an unauthorised journey.His remanded the case to
me.

the


sergeant was marched before me; and after his
charge

had


been read to him,he pleaded guilty. The sergeant
was

then


severly punished in accordance with military
law.That

put


an end to such act. Within a short time, mutual
trust

and


discipline were restored among the soldiers and
trust

and


understanding were generated between soldiers and

civilian


population.
Published: October 15, 2005   
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