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Civilian workers of defence ministry protest ‘brutalisation’ by military

map of FCT Abuja map of FCT Abuja

The civilian staff of the ministry of defence, under the umbrella of the joint executive council, has protested at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja over alleged brutalisation of their members by the military.

The joint executive council is made up of all affiliate unions of civilian staff working at the ministry of defence.

The protesting staff held up placards that read: ‘We are not slaves in the military’s hands’.

Speaking with journalists during the protest, on Tuesday, Didam Joel, president of the council, said the civilian staff of the ministry has faced brutalisation several times by the military officers.

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He said a civilian staff member was recently detained for a month by military authorities, alleging that another was killed two months ago.

“It’s a sad day for us. You will see the videos trending of our civilian assistant director being brutalised by some soldiers at the command secondary school in Lagos,” he said.

“They have killed somebody already — one of our members, comrade Richard, two months ago. We have asked the management to react, but up till today, we have not seen any action.

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“Last month, one of our civilian staff was locked in the guardroom for one month. We had to call the permanent secretary before he was released.

“Yesterday, this incident happened again. It means we are endangered species in the ministry of defence and that is why we have agreed that we should all withdraw our services in all the ministry of defense nationwide.”

Joel said the civilian staff would continue to protest until the minister of defence addresses them and they present their demands to him.

“Richard has died and so many of us have been brutalised. We must put a stop to this brutality and killing of civilian staff. We cannot take it again,” he said.

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