The Nigerian Army has arrested two soldiers seen in a viral video threatening to molest women in the Warri area of Delta State and using uncouth and uncivilised language.
The two soldiers were arrested by 9 Brigade, Ikeja Military Cantonment, Lagos State.
In the video, the soldiers had threatened to carry out a spree of rape of women in Warri, with one of them threatening to inflict the women with the deadly HIV virus.
But the Nigerian Army, on Twitter, said the soldiers were arrested on Friday after the video went viral, adding that investigations were ongoing into the incident.
The army said, “Soldiers purportedly threatening to molest women in Warri, Delta State, were arrested by 9 Brigade, Ikeja and further investigation is ongoing.
“The general public should be assured that the investigations would be swift and fair in accordance with applicable military laws. The outcome of the investigations will determine the most appropriate disciplinary measures that can be taken in the circumstances.
“The army wishes to reiterate that it would not tolerate any form of irresponsibility and indiscipline on the part of its personnel.”
Women rights groups, including 283 organisations, have urged the Federal Government to prepare for the likely surge in cases of sexual and gender-based violence resulting from the coronavirus lockdown.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had, on March 29, ordered the lockdown of Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory for an initial period of 14 days. Some states have taken similar action.
The activists made the call in a joint statement by the Executive Director, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi; Secretary General, Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative, Saudatu Mahdi; and the Country Director, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Dr Joy Onyesoh.
The statement read, “While the ‘stay-at-home’ order serves to protect families from the disease, it has the tendency to worsen sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls.