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Nigeria Military Move Against Impostors In Military Uniforms

Outgoing Nigeria's Chief of Army Staff Lt.Gen.Azubuike Ihejirika

The African Examiner

Nigeria's Chief of Army Staff Lt.Gen.Azubuike Ihejirika

Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff Lt.Gen.Azubuike Ihejirika

The authorities of the Nigerian Army, Navy and the Airforce formations in Lagos on Wednesday called for increased vigilance among residents in order to identify and assist law enforcement agents in bringing to book undesirable elements who impersonate military officers.

Addressing newsmen at the headquarters of the 9 Brigade, Ikeja Cantonment, the Commander, Brigadier General Adeniyi Oyebade said it was only through vigilance that members of the public could identify tell tale signs that often comes with some impersonators.

He explained that the military authorities in conjunction with the State Security Council headed by the Governor, Bababtunde Fashola decided to organise the press briefing on misuse of military uniforms by criminally minded people in order to expose some of their antics and also enlighten members of the public on how to distinguish the real personnel of the military from those who are impostors.

According to him, it was quite commendable that despite the efforts of some of the undesirables, the state government, in collaboration with security agencies had succeeded in keeping the level of criminality under control.

He said through the interactive session with the media, the military authorities will acquaint members of the public with the different uniforms, camouflages and accessories worn by military personnel and at what occasions such uniforms could be adorned.

Oyebade stated that part of the measures which could be taken by members of the public who suspecedt that a uniformed person was an impostor was to simply walk up to such person and ask him to identify himself.

“From experience, such persons who are real military personnel often obliged the inquisitive members of the public with their identities, in the instances where such people have refused to identify themselves, they have often turned out to be fakes.

“With the aid of technology, members of the public can take photographs with their camera phones and even walk to the nearest Police stations to report suspected cases of impersonation. If such evidence is produced to confirm that such a person is indeed a military personnel who is improperly dressed to warrant being suspected of being a fake, he will be identified and sanctioned according to military laws,’ he explained.

He cautioned youths who considered it a fad to always dress in military camouflage, especially on three quarter shorts, reiterating that such a practice was illegal and totally unacceptable.

Also speaking, the representative of the Commanding Officer, NNS Beecroft Apapa, Navy Captain James Pindar said concerning the Nigerian Navy, the authorities ensured that only accredited companies licensed to sew uniforms engaged in the process with surveillance regularly conducted to monitor people, including Navy personnel who patronize illegal points to procure uniforms.

Pindar said one of the groups identified to be responsible for the issue of fake Navy uniforms was those who branded themselves as Merchant Navy and conducted different types of phony training for unsuspecting members of the public under the guise of training them as Merchant Navy.

“Merchant Navy personnel are only allowed to wear uniforms when on board ships and not like the present practice where many of them wear different uniforms around to hoodwink people,” he stated.

The Commander, 435 Base Services Group, Ikeja, Air Commodore Sunday Wukangha said the identity cards of all military personnel had micro-chips embedded in them in addition to other security features like the particular security emblem.

He added that the camouflage uniform of the Nigerian Airforce had some similarity with that of the Army “but is a shade darker which makes it distinguishable by members of the public, in addition to the ranks which are now placed at the upper part of the chest instead of the shoulders.

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