By Olawale Olaleye

Last week, the Governor of Lagos, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, caught some self-declared soldiers on motorcycles, riding one-way, and sporting mufti, in some part of the state. The governor was on an assignment en route to the axis.

What was evident from the video that later went viral was that the incident wasn’t a one-off. It is the stock-in-trade of these uniformed guys, who have become law unto themselves and constituted nuisance to other road users.

Thinking it was his right to break the laws because he is a soldier, this particular fellow had the effrontery to tell the governor, “I’m a soldier”, meaning you wouldn’t get away with this. He probably expected the governor to cringe and shiver because he is a soldier.

Of course, the governor dismissed him as a “useless boy,” which was the right description for such a thoughtless fellow, who embarrassed the entire rank of the army by virtue of his poor decision.

As if that wasn’t enough, some other irreverent soldiers including inane officers have been coming out to talk down on the governor, as if he actually crossed the line by not only maintaining law and order, but also keeping the people in that part of the state safe from these unstable fellows.

It is, however, disturbing that the army as an institution has yet to utter a word on this development, condemning it, but rather, it seemed to have encouraged the deviant few to go practically uncultured, spewing outright drivel in defence of their hopeless colleague.

What manner of emergency assignment did the fellow undertake without his uniform, and rode on a commercial motorcycle against traffic? It wasn’t as if he piloted an ambulance to indicate a serious emergency.

To make the matter worse, check the other side of the road, there was no traffic whatsoever. So, those guys were just plain silly and undisciplined. But rather than see this as an embarrassment to the Army, the senseless officers and a few others thought it was okay to double down.

This is where the Chief of Army Staff, lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, a decent man by every definition, has to come in and rein in these embarrassing soldiers. It is not enough for the army to pledge allegiance and loyalty to the civil authority. They have to live by that creed and exhibit institutional discipline, as well.

Everyone who has stuck out his neck in defence of this madness must be called to question because the army, as we used to know it, was not rascally and indisciplined.

It is totally out of line and unacceptable how these fellows dared to call out an elected governor when clearly one of them messed up big time. It is unfortunate to watch everything and everyone we used to pride in going down in this nation one after the other. What a shame!