A Non-Governmental Organisation, the Forum Against Threat to Peace (FATP), has condemned the declaration of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major-General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), that the National Taskforce on the Prohibition of Illegal Importation/Smuggling of Arms, Ammunition, Light Weapons, Chemical Weapons and Pipeline Vandalism (NATFORCE), is an illegal security outfit.
The declaration has been described as an anti-democratic action and against the rule of law by the NGO in a statement by its leader, Elder Emmanuel Abanikannda Mathew. He said, a court of competent jurisdiction in Abuja had earlier declared the outfit legal.
He was referring to a pronouncement of an Abuja Federal High Court under Justice E.S. Chukwu, who declared the NATFORCE, a legal outfit on April 30, 2013. It was a civil suit brought before that court by the outfit against the Federal Minister of Finance and the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
The organisation said a Bill towards legalising the outfit as a security apparatus is before the National Assembly, the legislative organs mandated to make law for the country, reasoning that, fairness demands that the outcome of their oversight function should be awaited before any action on the issue. The Bill is reported to have passed a Second Reading.
The sponsors of the bill were former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara (APC, Bauchi) and Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC, Kogi).
The NGO is of the belief that, obedience to the rule of law in and compliance with court pronouncement in a democracy should be the order of the day, saying anything contrary to that can never be acceptable in any civilised clime.
The organisation, therefore urged Nigerian to assist the government in any way possible to rid the country of any form of threat to peace and security, insisting that, any legally organised security outfit like NATFORCE should be allowed to be functional in Nigeria.
The NGO was impressed to learn that the Director-General of the outfit, Dr. Baba Mohammed, has even received Israeli experts for the training of its management staff and operatives, with a view to making them competent and effective as professionals. He lamented that, its disbandment would put a cog in the wheel of job creation for the teeming youth.
The group has therefore urged Nigerians, to prevail on Monguno to reverse the disbandment order to allow the National Assembly to conclude deliberation on the said Bill before deciding on the next line of action to take, saying, that is the hallmark of a nation in democracy.
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