We do not encourage military men assaulting civilians -DHQ

The Defence headquarters has said it is committed to the protection of dignity and human right of all Nigerians.

In a statement on Monday, the Defence headquarters made reference to a recent incident where two soldiers assaulted a physically-challenged man for wearing a camouflage.

They have however been punished by the army while the victim has been compensated.

The Defence headquarters said it does not support soldiers and military men assaulting and manhandling civilians in any part of the country.

It however warned Nigerians to adhere to simple rules like not wearing military camouflage.

The DHQ noted that the camouflage has been used for armed robbery, kidnapping, and impersonation in the past.

It said, “The Nigerian Armed Forces is for Nigeria and Nigerians and it is for the protection of dignity and human right of all individuals low and high, big and small. It’s a taboo to dehumanise and brutalize anybody, and when such happens Nigerians should know it is not official conduct and behaviour expected from military personnel, but rather it’s an individual behaviour and should not be viewed as general conduct of the military.

“What happened to those soldiers who over zealously reacted to the physically challenged man who wore military camouflage and the recent imprisonment of the Senior non commission officer (SNCO) in Maiduguri for similar act as well as those soldiers at a check point who subjected a suspected Armed robber to an unbearable hardship were pointers to the fact that, the system does not condone indiscipline and manhandling of any civilian in any part of the country.

“We are therefore calling on all and sundry to obey simple rules and regulations which include but not limited to the wearing of military uniforms by unauthorized individuals. For security reasons, wearing camouflage clothing in Nigeria is a very sensitive issue as militants and other criminals have often worn camouflage for either to carry out attacks, Armed Robbery or kidnapping or impersonating as soldiers for other criminal purposes.It is also important to note that, Section 99(2) (c) of the Defence Act (chapter 11:02) and Section 110 of the Nigerian Criminal Code says it is an offence to unlawfully wear uniform of the armed forces or dress.

“We assure all citizens of our continued loyalty to them and constitutional authority which is expected of a professional military like ours. We urge citizens to always avail us any information of criminalities being carried by some unpatriotic individuals who want to see our country in perpetual crisis. It’s high time to report cases of such nature to the military authority for prompt action. Nigeria is for all of us; hence we should love ourselves and live in peace with each other irrespective of our diverse differences.”

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