June 08, (THEWILL)- The declaration of the National Taskforce on the Prohibition of Illegal Importation/Smuggling of Arms, Ammunition, Light Weapons, Chemical Weapons and Pipeline Vandalism (NATFORCE) as an illegal security outfit would be counter-productive, a pro-democracy activist, Comrade Chike O. Abiandu, has observed.
The Lagos-based Human Rights activist said the declaration by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major-General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), that the outfit was an illegal security outfit was not in tandem with democratic ethos since the issue was already before the National Assembly.
According to the Abia State born activist, the declaration was not only anti-democratic but also against the rule of law going by the fact that a Federal High Court in Abuja earlier cleared the outfit as a legal entity, suggesting that the NSA should have given the country’s Legislature time to exercise its duty as a law-making body before any action could be taken.
While insisting that the order would be counter-productive, Abiandu said, apart from the job opportunities that would be frittered away, it would also create an erroneous impression that the government was not serious about tackling the security challenges facing the country, advising that the order be lifted.
“With the 2013 pronouncement of the court and the Bill before the Senate and the House of Representatives, the NSA’s declaration appears hasty and against the rule of law, records have it that the sponsors of the Bill were former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara (APC, Bauchi), and Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC, Kogi) of the House of Representatives and the Senate respectively,” the concerned activist submitted.
According to him, the situation the country found itself now called for all hands to be on deck to collectively combat the security monsters dealing with the citizenry, stressing the need for any security outfit established according to the law of the land to survive and operate unhindered.
“What is expected of all of us, including the authorities, private sector and other well-meaning Nigerians is joining hands to assist genuine outfits through training and procurement of equipment and logistics to make it effective and efficient. Any other acts that can disrupt its operation should not be encouraged,” he counselled.
Abiandu frowned at the tone of the declaration read on behalf of the NSA office by its Head, Strategic Communication, Z.M. Usman, directing the immediate dismantling of alleged illegal security outfits, saying more worrisome is the mileage the Director-General of the outfit, Dr. Baba Mohammed, had covered in putting the outfit in a position to attain global standards.
It was reported that he had received a team of Israeli experts who would train its management staff and operatives, regretting the wastage the order would have on the nation if not reversed!