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Protest rocks Nigeria’s Defence Ministry

 The protesters at the Army Defence Headquarters, Abuja on Tuesday June 11, 2024. | Image: Channelstv

Protesters condemn brutalization of civilian staff

By Stella Woke

Protesters have taken over the Abuja office of the Ministry of Defence.

The protesters –the civilian staff of the Ministry of Defence – alleged that soldiers were brutalizing their members in Abuja and Lagos.

Consequently, the workers, on the platform of the Joint Executive Council, shut down the headquarters of the ministry in Abuja.

 The President of the Council, Didam Joel, lamented that a civilian staff of the ministry had been detained by military authorities for the past four weeks, even though he is not a military personnel.

Joel also disclosed that an assistant director of the ministry working at Command Secondary School, Ojo, in Lagos, was equally brutalised on Monday without recourse to civil service rules.

The joint executive council is made up of all affiliate unions of civilian staff working in the Ministry of Defence.

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Although the Army has yet to release an official statement about the allegation, one of the unionists in the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) in the army, Abuja, said that one of the civilians brutalised on Monday by a private soldier headed by one Lt Akubor, was Ambrose Akhigbe.

The victim is currently in the hospital, he said.

He also alleged that a laboratory scientist in the Naval Reference Hospital, at Navy Town, Ojo, Lagos, was “brutally killed” two months ago.

“We were at the heat of it, the person controlling the current crop of soldiers in all command schools in Lagos including some civilian PSOs, are backing these shameful acts of killing MOD staff at duty posts.

“We therefore demand the complete overhaul of the command schools by returning the schools to their original structure of standard school system, to be headed by professional education officers in the Ministry of Defence and they can only provide security if they wish.

“The management of MOD should be aware that we are not backing down on this as we don’t know who is next,” the ASCSN official said.

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