Army, SAN condemn shaving dreadlocks of Nigerians by soldiers

“It is wrong for any soldier to shave somebody’s hair without any evidence of a crime against him.

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A Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN, Mr Mba Ukweni and the 13 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Calabar said it was wrong for any soldier to shave the dreadlock of any Nigerian.

They were reacting to reports of alleged forceful shaving of heads of people with dreadlocks by some soldiers in Cross Rivers.

The Brigade’s Public Relations Officer, Capt. Dorcas Aluko, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the brigade would investigate the report.

“It is wrong for any soldier to shave somebody’s hair without any evidence of a crime against him.

“I am not happy to hear things like this that, a soldier shaved off somebody’s hair when you did not catch him with anything.

“Anybody can decide to keep dreadlocks; I will talk to the operation officer so that he tries and checks the soldiers and confirm the incident,’’ Aluko said.

Similarly, Ukweni told NAN that the action of the soldiers was condemnable, brutal, sheer lawlessness and without moral justification.

“The army does not have the authority to stop a vehicle, bring out people and shave their hairs for no justifiable reason,’’ he said.

Uwakeni said that it was unfortunate that those who committed the act could not be identified, because they had no name tags.

The SAN observed that “even men of the police now move round the streets of Calabar armed and in masks; this is unfortunate”.

NAN reports that some soldiers on Dec. 5, at about 8pm stopped a Toyota Sienna vehicle at Uyanga, Akamkpa, Local Government Area and ordered one of the occupants with dreadlocks out of the car.

The soldiers who had no name tags on their uniforms, used scissors and shaved off the man’s hair before ordering him back into the vehicle.

The bemused young man who identified himself as Kingsley Ohum, told NAN that he was travelling to Ikom from Calabar to see his family.

He said that he had committed no crime other than wearing dreadlocks.