"We are not slaves in the military’s hands" Civilian staff of Defence Ministry protest brutalisation by soldiers following attack caught on video (VIDEO)

Wednesday, June 12, 2024 
-The civilian staff of the Ministry of Defence, under the umbrella of the Joint Executive Council, has protested at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja over the alleged brutalisation of their members by the military. 

The Joint Executive Council is made up of all affiliate unions of civilian staff working at the Ministry of Defence. The protesting staff held up placards that read: “We are not slaves in the military’s hands”. 

Speaking with journalists during the protest on Tuesday, June 11, Didam Joel, president of the council, said the civilian staff of the ministry has faced brutalisation several times by the military officers 

He said a civilian staff member was recently detained for a month by military authorities and another was killed two months ago. 

“It’s a sad day for us. You will see the videos trending of our civilian assistant director being brutalised by some soldiers at the command secondary school in Lagos,” he said. 

“They have killed somebody already — one of our members, comrade Richard, two months ago. We have asked the management to react, but up till today, we have not seen any action.

“Last month, one of our civilian staff was locked in the guardroom for one month. We had to call the permanent secretary before he was released.

“Yesterday, this incident happened again. It means we are endangered species in the Ministry of Defence and that is why we have agreed that we should all withdraw our services in all the ministry of defense nationwide.” 

Joel said the civilian staff would continue to protest until the minister of defence addresses them and they present their demands to him. 

“Richard has died and so many of us have been brutalised. We must put a stop to this brutality and killing of civilian staff. We cannot take it again,” he said.

One of the unionists in the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) in the army told Channels TV that one of the civilians brutalised on Monday, June 10, by a private soldier headed by one Lt Akubor, was Ambrose Akhigbe. The victim is said to be currently in the hospital.

He also mentioned that a laboratory scientist in the Naval Reference Hospital, at Navy Town, Ojo, Lagos, was “brutally killed” barely two months.

He said: “We were at the heat of it, the person controlling the current crop of soldiers in all command schools in Lagos including some civilian PSOs, are backing these shameful acts of killing MOD staff at duty posts. 

“We therefore demand the complete overhaul of the command schools by returning the schools to their original structure of standard school system, to be headed by professional education officers in the Ministry of Defence and they can only provide security if they wish. 

“The management of MOD should be aware that we are not backing down on this as we don’t know who is next."

Swipe to watch a video of the assault and protests.


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