As the insecurity situation rocking the country continues, troops of 6 Division Nigerian Army (NA) have claimed they “discovered an illegal militia training camp while on a routine surveillance at Nonwa Gbam (NYSC Orientation Camp) in Tai Local Government Area of Rivers State.”
The disclosure was contained in a statement yesterday by Deputy Director Army Public Relations Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, who said investigations had begun with a view to identifying sponsors of the camp and its activities.
But Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications Emma Okah dismissed the claim as biased, “illegal” and “politically motivated.”
He described the camp as belonging to the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency, “a body created by an act of parliament to assist security agencies in local intelligence gathering.”
He accused the Federal Government of “working against the security interest” of the state through the “brazen sack of a legitimate exercise of screening applicants for recruitment to assist in the fight against insecurity in Rivers.”
Okah argued that Lagos, Zamfara, Kwara, Kano, Imo, Enugu, Edo State all have security support agencies similar to the Rivers State’s agency. He added: “Before carrying out the screening, the agency had written to the Nigeria Army and other relevant agencies asking for drill and physical training instructors. But the army ignored the request and never advised against it but preferred an ambush.”
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Reacting, Governor Nyesom Wike regretted that the army has abandoned its responsibilities and transformed into a politicised force. “We did not hire boys for political reasons. This has been a transparent process and that is why the personnel are trained at the NYSC Orientation Camp. We involved the police and the DSS, to ensure that the trainees are profiled for the good of the society,” he explained.