Defence minister reaffirms ban on unauthorised use of military camouflage

Minister of State for Defence Dr. Bello Muhammed Matawalle has reaffirmed the ban on unauthorized use of Military camouflage, saying that it was only the Armed Forces and the Nigeria Police Force while on Joint Operation with the military are allowed by law to use the military camouflage.

A statement Monday by Director of Information, Press and Public Relations Henshaw Ogubike disclosed that the ministers’ call is coming at this time when criminals disguised as military and para military personnels to cause havoc in the society.

“The present situation does not support the use of Military camouflage by people who are not authorized or not personnels of DHQ'” he said.

According to him, the criminals among us have had to take advantage of the Military, Police and other security agencies’ gears to perpetrate crimes.

The Minister emphasized that there was the need to streamline the personnels that are authorized to use the Military camouflage.

He said government ban on other Para military Agencies from the use of the military camouflage was to bring sanity to the system and also as a way of checkmating criminal activities.

Matawalle emphasized the readiness of the Nigeria Armed Forces and the Nigeria Police to enforce the directive given by the National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, regarding the immediate cessation of the use of camouflage uniforms by para-military agencies.

“The circular titled Observation on Proliferation in the Use of Camouflage Uniforms by Other Security Agencies in Nigeria,” personally signed by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, mandated personnels of the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, and the Federal Fire Service, among others, to discontinue the use of camouflage uniforms henceforth, following the directive issued by ONSA.”

Accordingly, the Minister stated that the use of camouflage uniform by various security agencies other than the Armed Forces namely, the Army, Navy and the Air Force remain banned.

He however gave exception to the use by the Nigerian Police Force, which he said they can only use it when on Joint Operation with the Military.

He said the enforcement of the ban becomes imperative in view of the security implications and concerns raised on the clamour of duplicity and proliferation in the country.

He pointed out the importance of this caution saying that: “The measure is aimed at check mating crime rate in Nigeria, adding that if we identify those that are authorized to use the camouflage, we can quickly differentiate them from criminals that intend to confuse us,” he said.

Dr. Matawalle said that henceforth extant laws guiding the use of camouflage uniform in Nigeria would strictly be enforced.