Dogara Decries Deployment of Soldiers to Quell Crises

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By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has expressed worry over the prolonged deployment of military personnel in neighbourhoods to quell crises across the country, saying that it has literally placed the country in a state of emergency.

He also lamented the overbearing influence of the executive arm of government on the security agencies which has not allowed them to be more transparent and accountable to Nigerians.

Speaking at a one-day capacity-building/interactive needs assessment workshop of the security sector-related committees of the House of Representatives organised in collaboration with the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) held at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja on Monday, the Speaker said the legislature is responding to the task of reforming the laws hiding the security sector.

“It is worrisome that Nigeria is effectively permanently in a state of emergency as the Armed Forces are deployed in more than 28 states of the federation in peace time. The Armed Forces have virtually taken over routine police work in Nigeria. It is no longer acting in aid of civil authorities but has become the civil right itself,” he said.

Dogara, who was represented by the Chief Whip, Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa, said that part of the challenges the National Assembly is trying to address is how to get the security services to subject themselves to legislative scrutiny, adding that the House recently amended the Public Procurement Act to make the Armed Forces more accountable in procurement matters.

Details later…