June 12, (THEWILL)- The National Taskforce on the Prohibition of Illegal Importation/Smuggling of Arms, Ammunition, Light Weapons, Chemical Weapons and Pipeline Vandalism (NATFORCE) has reacted to a report that the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) declared it illegal and disbanded.
A Director with the outfit, Mr. Felix Effiong Nyong, has said that NATFORCE was still on ground, intact and not disbanded.
According to him, the outfit was rather anxiously awaiting the outcome of the legislative deliberation going on in the National Assembly over a Bill concerning the outfit, informing that the Bill passed through a second reading moving towards conclusion.
The sponsors of the Bill, according to record, were former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara (APC, Bauchi) and Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC, Kogi).
It is also to be noted that a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had since 2013 pronounced NATFORCE a legal security outfit, following a civil case brought before the Hon Justice Hon. Justice E.S. Chukwu by the outfit against the Minister of Finance and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP).
The Director who said the purported disbandment of the NATFORCE was also read by him in the media, said, “Till now, no circular concerning the purported disbandment has reached our office from the office of the NSA, Major-General Babagana Monguno (Rtd).”
Recall that, a declaration of disbandment of some illegal security organisations in the country was allegedly issued by the office of the NSA and signed by the Head, Strategic Communication, ZM Usman, directing immediate dismantling of all illegal security outfits!
It was against this reported declaration that several concerned individuals and groups raised eyebrows, reasoning that such an organization as NATFORCE should be encouraged and supported to help Nigerians survive the security challenges facing the country.