The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has advised Nigerians to shun the use of camouflage for now, although it is not against the law for civilians to wear military gear.
For the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, the present security situation does not allow the use of military gear by people who are not personnel of the DHQ.
He gave the clarification on Friday during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, in reaction to a question about the crackdown on the use of military gear by civilians.
“The criminals among us have had to take advantage of the military, police, and other security agencies’ gear to perpetrate crime,” said General Irabor.
“We live in a peculiar society – I do not need to restate what the make-up of our society is, what the level of discipline is generally.
“And when you compare it (Nigerian structure) to some places where a few individuals believe that whatever practice goes on in those societies should be replicated here, the other elements of social life in those societies; they do not bring that to bear right here.”
According to the defence chief, the activities of criminals who wear military gear to perpetrate evil acts prompted the armed forces to crack down on their usage.
He stressed that the military has no problem with non-personnel wearing its gear, but such must be done with good intention as the safety of the people would be its priority.
General Irabor gave an assurance that the DHQ would continue to take appropriate actions to ensure that Nigerians do not see the military in a bad light when they wear its gear.
“Ordinarily, we will be glad to see that our symbol (gears) is being used for good causes,” he said. “A good number of those who use them have used them for ignoble causes and so, that brings us to a state where you begin to make certain assumptions.
“So, it is better for you to be safe first, then by virtue of your investigations, you can exonerate those who are using them for good causes. This is where we are.”