Defence ministry workers protest alleged manhandling of colleague

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Civilian members of staff of the Ministry of Defence in Abuja on Tuesday protested against alleged  inhuman treatment of their colleague in Lagos by some military personnel.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the protesting workers locked the gates to the ministry preventing staffers and visitors from entering or exiting the premises.

NAN also reports that the protesting staff displayed banners with inscriptions such as ”we say no to military brutality”, ”they brought in dogs to intimidate us”, “civilians are not slaves to the soldiers”, among others.

A source, who spoke with NAN on the condition of anonymity, said the protest was in connection with the treatment meted out to a staff in the Lagos office.

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“A civilian, a staff in Lagos, interfered when he saw some soldiers punishing some students by making them roll in muddy water.

“He was recording the incident when an army officer demanded for his cell phone. He refused and insisted that the phone was his personal property.

“Some soldiers with the army officer said his (staffer)’s action was disrespectful to their superior and started beating the man.

“The man is currently hospitalised in Lagos, That is why Staffers of the ministry here are protesting in solidarity with our counterpart in Lagos,” the source told NAN.

The source recalled that a civilian staffer died not long ago after being tortured by some personnel of the Nigerian Navy in Lagos.

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“We are saying enough is enough,” the source said.

He said that the management of the ministry had promised that such would not happen again.

“But with this recent incident, it means that the promise was just mere talk.

“This is the reason that the latest assault is being met with anger. We are feeling really bad about this Lagos incident,” the source said.

DCO/JPE

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