The Nigerian army has come out to clear the air on the implication of civilians wearing camouflage materials. In a statement issued by Defence Headquarters today Monday and signed by Director of Defence Information, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, the army called on civilians to desist from unauthorized wearing of camouflage clothing as it is against the law.

The statement reads in part, “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.”

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Dehumanizing anybody is a taboo

The Defence headquarters in the same statement also ruled out any form of support for military men who engage in brutalizing members of the public over trivial offences.

The statement said that the Nigerian Armed Forces is for Nigeria and Nigerians, and that it was set up 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,” said Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar in the statement.

“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-commissioned 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 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 of 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,” added the statement.