A concerned public commentator and human right activist, Comrade Josiah Afikun has frowned at the declaration of the National Taskforce on the Prohibition of Illegal Importation/Smuggling of Arms, Ammunition, Light Weapons, Chemical Weapons and Pipeline Vandalism (NATFORCE) as an illegal security outfit.
The declaration came from the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major-General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), National Security Adviser, through a statement signed by the Head, Strategic Communication, ZM Usman, directing the immediate dismantling of all illegal security outfits including NATFORCE!
In a chat with our reporter in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, Asekun expressed dissatisfaction over the declaration pointing out that the action was against the rule of law and democratic process going by the existing court pronouncement and on-going legislative efforts on a Bill concerning the NATFORCE.
He tried to bring to the notice of the NSA that a court of competent jurisdiction, an Abuja Federal High Court has, since 2013 has ruled over the case and declared NATFORCE a legal entity, wondering why the NSA’s office should ignore such a vital development to pronounce something contrary!
To be specific, the right crusader said, “it is on record that, an Abuja Federal High Court under Hon. Justice E.S. Chukwu on April 30, 2013 has declared the outfit legal when a civil suit brought before that court by the outfit against the Federal Minister of Finance and the Inspector General of Police, and the judge declared the outfit as legal.”
Speaking further, Asekun said, “what appears more worrisome is the fact that the issue under discussion has become a legislative matter before our capable National Assembly which had started deliberation on a Bill concerning the matter,lamenting that the declaration against this background is embarrassing and not acceptable!”
Asekun however believed that, what is imperative to do is for all Nigerians to rally round such outfits with a view to combating frontally, all the security challenges in the country through procurement of equipment, provision of logistic and intelligence information, reminding that, “the security matter is a collective one and not sole responsibilities of the government.”
He therefore praised the NATFORCE initiator, Dr. Baba Muhammed who he said was reported to have gone as far as receiving Israeli expert to train its management staff and operatives toward attaining competency level on security matters, saying, “such a personality deserves to be encouraged and not demoralised.”
He therefore urged the Federal Government to reverse the declaration in the interest of the generality of the people, stating that, “importance of collective efforts at combating insecurity in the country can never be over emphasised.”