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Soldiers’ brutality: Civilian Staff of Defence Ministry stage protest

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Soldiers’ brutality: Civilian Staff of Defence Ministry stage protest

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Civilian staff of the Ministry of Defence, on Tuesday, staged a demonstration in protest against alleged brutalisation of their colleagues by military personnel.

The protesting workers, who blocked entry and exit to the complex, accused military personnel of brutalising their colleagues without regard for civil laws.

Chairman of the Joint Executive Council, the umbrella body of affiliate unions of civilian staff in the ministry, Didam Joel, while addressing newsmen, warned that the civilian staff of the Ministry had become endangered species.

Joel, who recalled incidents against the civilian staff, alleged that an assistant director was brutalised on Monday in Lagos, stressing that they could no longer bear the situation.

According to Joel, “What led to this action is the incident that happened yesterday. The video of the incident trended. One of our assistant directors was brutalised by private soldiers at the Command Secondary School in Ipaja, Lagos.

“Some months back, they killed one of our colleagues. Up till today, we have not seen any action. Also, last month a civilian staff was locked in the guard room. It was because we involved the permanent secretary that he was released. We are an endangered species in the Ministry of Defence.”

Joel also disclosed that all civilian staff of the Ministry of Defence nationwide have withdrawn their services.

He added, “That is why as a union we directed our members to withdraw their services from the Ministry of Defence formations. So nationwide we are withdrawing our services to the ministry until the Minister of Defence and then we will give them our demand.

“We are endangered, we don’t know who will be the next. This is too much and we cannot take it again. We must put a stop to this brutality and killing of civilian staff. If they can’t defend and protect us, there won’t be a need for the Ministry of Defence in Nigeria. ”

On Monday, a video showing a civilian being brutalised by soldiers in the school premises went viral.

Joel identified the civilian in the video as a Grade 15 staff member of the Ministry of Defence.

Spokesperson of the Ministry, Henshaw Ogubike, had yet to issue any statement as of the time of filing this report.

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