Some first-year cadets of the Nigerian Defence Academy, clad in camouflage, threw caution to the wind last week, blocked a section of the Mararaba-Keffi Expressway and held motorists to ransom.
One of the cadets was seen in a video calling civilian members of the public “bastards” and asking them to surrender to his authority.
Not done, the young men, said to be between the ages of 16 and 20, stormed a birthday party uninvited.
When the host accosted them, they asked him to hold his ears and jump in a squatting position repeatedly, a punishment colloquially known as ‘frog jump’.
As the visibly tired host slowed down in the course of the punishment, the cadets could be heard calling him a bastard and asking him to continue and go faster.
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PUNCH Metro learnt that this type of behaviour was common among first-year cadets, who leave the academy for the first time.
The act, known as ‘Plumming 101’, is seen as a rite of passage.
The unruly behaviour was met with loud criticism from a large section of Nigerians, who commented on Instablog9ja, where the video had garnered 3,788 comments and viewed over 316,000 times.
Many expressed shock that first-year cadets could act in such a manner and wondered how mad they would become when they eventually graduate from the academy.
Timi Kuti wrote, “Stupidity has no second word or explanation when the most disciplined organisation has these ignorant wild cubs as trainees. The question is what are they being taught in those supposed sacred grounds and who are their supposed teachers?”
Another commentator, Plato Gabriel, wrote, “They have passed the first semester exams in the NDA and they are brutalising people. If these ones become generals, they will ask the sun to stand still.”
Chineye Uzoma wrote, “These are the types that give the Nigerian Army a bad name. Shame!”
However, Oyin Chinelo said the act was normal among first-year cadets
A third-year cadet at the NDA, Chibuisi Ojukwu, however, praised the young men, saying that their behaviour was acceptable in the academy.
Commenting on the video, he wrote, “Give it to them; our roommates. You have finally bought your peace.”
Another cadet, Sadiq Abubakar, praised the unruly boys.
When contacted on the telephone, the spokesman for the NDA, Maj. Abubakar Abdullahi, said the academy had seen the footage and investigations were ongoing.
He noted that many of the cadets had gone home for the Christmas break, adding that when they resume, the investigations would take a full swing.
Abdullahi said the academy would not condone unruly behaviour and those found culpable would be disciplined.
“That action is not part of the NDA orientation. We are investigating the matter. Definitely, there will be punishment, but we need to investigate properly. After the Christmas break, we will do proper investigation,” the NDA spokesman added.