The Nigerian Airforce Base, Minna, Niger State, has been enmeshed in a scandal allegedly involving a senior female officer (name withheld),being accused of forcefully engaging junior officers in immoral acts, victimizing and harassing them with unjustifiable detention under flimsy excuses.
“The female senior officer said to be in charge of receiving and documenting certain categories of officers deployed to Minna Airforce, amongst other schedules, allegedly engages some choice junior officers to do odd jobs for her and refusal attracts instant punishment, including obstructing their promotion and tampering with their salaries and other entitlements,” reports Daily Independent.
The paper says that “while some of the affected officers were being punished for reporting late from their place of deployment to Minna base, findings revealed that others get punished for resisting her overtures or for failing to meet her demands for one form of gratifications or another.”
The said senior female officer is said to have oftentimes demanded that some officers buy fish for her and as well attend to her other needs and that of her younger sister and most of the officers who refused to oblige were being forced to undergo some form of punishment.
“Findings indicate that a series of blackmail and intimidations of some officers became an open secret about six months ago when more of the junior officers falling victim to her unprofessional conduct began to raise voices against her high-handedness.
“The victims are either confined to the guardroom, forced to wear a particular uniform and subjected to hard labour with the inscription ‘suspect’ or ‘convict’ without food,” according to the report.
“So brutal in the manhandling of the junior officers”, the senior female officer in question “is said to have a retinue of loyalists working for her and even serving as informants with all eyes and ears wide open to report any plot against her as she sometimes assumes the duty of the commandant even before the former occupant of the seat proceeded on study leave abroad.
“During one of the encounters, the female senior officer is said to have ordered that an officer who just returned from the burial of his relative with an automobile be placed under ‘special watch’ with all his accounts blocked on her orders and influence after being publicly paraded in handcuffs on trumped-up charges.”
The report says that the “overbearing tendencies” of the said senior female officer “has been on for years as she sort of became a nightmare to junior officers and other non-uniformed staff working under her as she severally bragged that, nobody challenges her authority without paying dearly for it.
“This cold war was generated by the mismanagement of the junior officers under her supervision which has been on for years, was further gathered to once sparked off murmurings among some officers within the fold and they plotted to ‘deal with her’.
Their plots were, however, said to have been exposed by one of her ‘boys’ who was eavesdropping while the plot was being hatched in one of the popular joints besides the Airforce Base, along Rafin-Yashin area of Maikunkele, Minna metropolis and all those linked to the plot ‘severely dealt with accordingly’.”
Daily Independent says it was further learnt that the said senior female officer, “an ‘Elder’ in one of the Pentecostal churches, resorted to restraining her movements and must be guarded should anything take her outside the base for fear of being attacked by the people she has forced to taste her bitter pill of undue punishment.”
The report says that one of the victims of the said senior female officer’s brutality “once reported his frustrations to ‘higher authorities’ when it became clear that the former commandant could not do anything to free him because he is in being, ‘pocketed’ by the overbearing senior female officer and could not intervene and he was severally threatened with death.
“Luck however smiled on him when a new commandant was deployed to Minna, but this did not go down well with (the said senior female officer) who allegedly clandestinely and speedily worked against it and the said commandant was almost immediately re-deployed two weeks later and a new commandant immediately reported under suspicious circumstance.”
“The pains of the victims,” according to the report, “are further compounded by the fact that, in accordance with the rules of engagement, no junior officer should under any circumstance exchange words or argue with senior officers except to take orders.”