Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos on Monday said the frequent disregard and flouting of civil laws by military personnel showed that Nigeria had not been fully demilitarised.
Mr. Fashola said this while receiving Major General Abel Umahi, the General Officer Commanding 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, in his office in Ikeja.
The governor also received Rasheed Odupeyin, the new Comptroller-General of the Lagos Command, Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS).
He said that such misbehaviour gave the Nigerian Army a bad image, advising that all relevant authorities must close ranks to curb the problem.
The Governor also advised those in charge of distributing uniforms in the force to be more careful so that it would not get into the wrong hands.
“I think that with the larger military community, we haven’t had any problem. Like in any dozen, one will find one with questionable disposition,” he said. “And I think that that are those that seek to give the military the name that we all know that it doesn’t bear. We must all work together to ensure compliance with law and order.”
He said “in spite of the fact that the military have left governance. I think that Nigerians haven’t fully demilitarised themselves.
“Therefore, it is a penchant even for people to wear all sort of fatigue and pose as military officers when they are not.”
The Lagos Governor added that “in the last 24 to 48 hours, the brigade commandant was filling a report to me of some citizens that he apprehended for walking around in military uniform.
“This is why it is important that we close ranks because people defy civil law enforcement that is the policemen by wearing uniform and we mustn’t encourage that kind of thing to continue in any form.”
He commended the Chief of Amy Staff for granting his request to inspect engineering survey of part of Bonny Camp, in line with the proposed rehabilitation of Ahmadu Bello Way.
Earlier, Mr. Umahi thanked all residents and the governor for accommodating the troops of the Division and for his numerous provisions for the Army.
He reiterated that the Nigerian Army would support the State Government in ensuring security of lives and property.
Also, Mr. Odupeyin appealed to the governor to include the Immigration Service in the state`s security council, arguing that the service, like the army and police was central to the security of the state.
He added that the inclusion would assist in checking threats that could arise from illegal trans-border movements.
Mr. Odupeyin said the new passport office in Alausa, Ikeja, would be open for the public by the end of March; saying the office would strengthen the capacity of the service and widen Nigerian’s access to passports.