Defense Minister Reiterates Ban on Unauthorized Use of Military Camouflage

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
3 Min Read

The Minister of State for Defense, Dr. Bello Muhammed Matawalle, has underscored the prohibition on the unauthorized utilization of military camouflage, stressing that only the Armed Forces and the Nigeria Police Force, during joint operations with the military, are legally permitted to employ military camouflage.

This declaration by the minister comes amidst a concerning surge in the utilization of military camouflage by criminal elements, including kidnappers and bandits, who disguise themselves as military or paramilitary personnel to perpetrate acts of lawlessness in society.

Mr. Henshaw Ogubike, the spokesman for the Ministry of Defence, reiterated this stance in Abuja, emphasizing that “the prevailing circumstances do not support the unauthorized use of military camouflage by individuals who lack the requisite authorization or affiliation with the Defence Headquarters.”

He elucidated, “Criminals within our midst have exploited military, police, and other security agencies’ attire to carry out nefarious activities,” underscoring the imperative to delineate authorized personnel eligible to don military camouflage.

Ogubike elucidated, “The government’s directive to restrict the use of military camouflage by paramilitary agencies was enacted to restore orderliness to the system and serve as a deterrent against criminal endeavors.”

Dr. Matawalle accentuated the commitment of the Nigerian Armed Forces and the Nigerian Police to enforce the directive issued by the National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, about the immediate cessation of the use of camouflage uniforms by paramilitary agencies.

Citing the circular titled “Observation on Proliferation in the Use of Camouflage Uniforms by Other Security Agencies in Nigeria,” personally endorsed by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Dr. Matawalle emphasized that personnel from the Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and Federal Fire Service, among others, are mandated to discontinue the utilization of camouflage uniforms, in alignment with the directive from the Office of the National Security Adviser.

Furthermore, Dr. Matawalle reiterated that the use of camouflage uniforms by security agencies other than the Armed Forces, specifically the Army, Navy, and Air Force, remains proscribed, except for the Nigerian Police Force, permitted only during joint operations with the military.

The enforcement of this ban, Dr. Matawalle emphasized, is imperative in light of the security ramifications and concerns surrounding the proliferation and duplicity in the country. Highlighting the significance of this measure, he asserted, “The aim is to curb the escalating crime rate in Nigeria, discerning authorized personnel from criminals seeking to obfuscate our security apparatus.”

Dr. Matawalle concluded by affirming that henceforth, extant laws governing the use of camouflage uniforms in Nigeria will be rigorously enforced, ensuring adherence to established regulations.

Soukaina Sghir

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