Nigerian lawmakers condemn indiscriminate use of security officials by politicians

The House of Representatives has condemned the indiscriminate use and abuse of personnel of the Armed Forces and other security outfits by politicians and other civilians as bodyguards.

The criticism was sequel to the unanimous adoption ‎of a motion by Ogundu Chinda (Rivers-PDP) at the plenary in Abuja on Thursday.

In the motion, Mr. Chinda expressed concern over the indiscriminate use of men of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Air Force) as bodyguards for civilians who were ordinarily not entitled to such privileges.

He said though the practice cut across virtually all sectors of the polity, it was more common among politicians, political and ex-political office holders and businessmen. ‎

Mr. Chinda said the most commonly used security personnel were the Mobile Police Force, Mopol, soldiers and in some cases, men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC.

He said that on several occasions, these armed security personnel, acting as bodyguards to civilians, had brutally assaulted, harassed and severely beaten innocent civilians who were left at their mercy.

Mr. Chinda said if the trend was left unchecked, it could lead to anarchy and in turn negatively affect the society by causing despondency in the minds the people.

He said the situation had tarnished the image and reputation of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and compromised national security.

The House then urged the heads of the country’s armed forces and affected security outfits to immediately withdraw their personnel attached to civilians.

After listening to various contributions on the issue, the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, mandated the Committees on Army, Air Force, Navy, Police and Interior to investigate the matter and report back to the House within four weeks for further legislative action.



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