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Soldiers have no right to torture civilians over dreadlocks – Gen Diya

Brigadier General Olusola Diya, the Bridge Commander responsible for overseeing the operations of the 14 Brigade Ohafia, emphasized the importance of respecting citizens’ rights during the 33rd edition of a social media seminar held in Aba, Abia State. Addressing media practitioners and social media influencers, he specifically called attention to the issue of soldiers or military personnel harassing civilians with dreadlocks.

Diya clarified that there is no existing law that prohibits individuals from wearing dreadlocks, highlighting that associating the hairstyle solely with internet fraudsters is unjust and unfounded. He underscored the need for military personnel to refrain from targeting innocent citizens based on their appearance, stating that such actions constitute a violation of people’s fundamental rights.

Responding to inquiries regarding the legality of military personnel’s conduct towards individuals with dreadlocks at checkpoints, Diya reiterated that there is no legal basis for enforcing dress codes on civilians. He emphasized that it is inappropriate for soldiers to engage in the enforcement of non-existent laws and cautioned against any form of harassment or torture inflicted on civilians under the guise of enforcing such regulations.

In a firm stance against such misconduct, Diya warned of severe consequences for any military personnel found guilty of harassing civilians with dreadlocks. He urged members of the public to report any instances of such behavior, providing assurances that appropriate measures would be taken to address the issue.

Diya concluded by emphasizing the importance of professionalism and adherence to the rule of law within the military, stating that any soldier found engaging in unprofessional conduct would face disciplinary action. He urged individuals to report any incidents promptly, providing detailed information such as the name of the soldier and the location of the checkpoint involved, to facilitate swift and decisive action.

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