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Military, police on collision course over use of camoufylage

The stage may have been set for a continuation of the supremacy battle that has continually sparked crashes between personnel of the military arms on one side and the police on the other, with the unveiling of a harmonised military woodland camouflage.

Unveiling the new uniforms, Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Logistics Command, Air Vice Marshal Muhammadu Muhammed warned the police, paramilitary agencies and civilians to desist from the use of camouflages or face prosecution.

“All the agencies have been duly notified and the military will not hesitate to prosecute anyone found using camouflage,” he said.

It would be recalled that the Nigeria Police had in July 2012 launched a camouflage uniform for its officers which it said would be one of its operational attires.

But soon after assumption of office, the Muhammadu Buhari administration banned the use of such camouflage uniforms by various security agencies other than the Armed Forces namely the Army, Navy and the Air Force.

Read also: Buhari launches probe into herdsmen, farmers clashes

And though the Nigerian Police are meant to use the uniform when in Joint Operation with the military, or on special operation such as specific anti-riot missions, a good number of policemen still don the camouflage cap, on the streets.

So a number of Nigerians feel that the new directive by Air Vice Marshal Muhammed may well spark friction between policemen and military personnel who may want to carry out such arrests on the streets.

According to Muhammed, the woodland camouflages are designed for military personnel on operation in the southern part of the country. Another set known as the desert camouflage are for personnel in the northern part of Nigeria.

Muhammed, who said 4,000 pairs of the new set of camouflages have been distributed to Air Force personnel in the South, stated that the service was still expecting 9,000 more for the region.

According to him, the harmonised camouflage was borne out of the need to eradicate proliferation by non-military agencies and civilians, which he said has implications for national security.

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