The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw soldiers from the streets across the country to minimise harm to civilians.
The group said the President should equip and adequately fund the police to undertake their internal security duties, noting that the over-involvement of the military has rather endangered the civilian population more.
Reviewing CISLAC’s engagements in Protection of Civilian (PoC) during armed conflicts in the past year, Executive Director, Auwal Ibrahim Musa decried the presence of soldiers at checkpoints and roadblocks in the cities extorting motorists, lamenting the lack of accountability and complaint structures for civilians in some of the areas.
He made references to Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport Road, Abuja, and other parts of the country where security operations were ongoing against terrorists and other criminals.
According to him, rather than search vehicles and occupants to ensure they posed no security risk to the populace, the soldiers were busy collecting N100 per vehicle and allowing those who paid to pass.
“This has made the military to lose respect in the eyes of the people. People no longer revere the military like in the past and this should stop. We have them in all the streets across the country. They have been reduced to vigilante and the more they are involved, the more exposed to corruption they become.
“I call on the President to immediately take our soldiers off the streets and return them to the barracks. Their presence on the streets has not helped improve security but has rather exposed them to corrupt practices.”