THE House of Representatives Committee on National Security, Intelligence and Public Safety has expressed concern over the alleged excessiveness of the military and other security agents deployed to some trouble areas in the country.
The members warned that they would no longer look the other way when Nigerians are maltreated and their rights violated.
In a statement yesterday in Abuja, the panel’s chairman, Muhammad Bello Mutawalle, said the committee and indeed the House, had received complaints from residents of the affected states on the alleged molestation, harassment and to some extent, extra-judicial killings of innocent citizens by security agents deployed to check insecurity in the areas.
Mutawalle pledged that the committee would undertake an in-depth investigation on the allegations contained in a motion by a member of the House from Yobe State on the harassment of innocent residents of Potiskum after an attack on a market by gunmen, who killed more than 50 people.
He assured Nigerians that as the motion was referred to the panel, all the persons and organisations involved would be identified and sanctioned.
The lawmaker lamented that the excesses of the security agents had fixed the residents of the affected areas between the devil and blue sea”. According to him, the attitude of the law enforcement agents had compelled the residents to prefer being dealt with by the insurgents.
“It is this kind of attitude that makes residents not to cooperate with the security agencies by providing information on the insurgents, as you can only assist someone who is ready to be friendly with you and protect your life. There is no way the residents will help security agents if they are not treated any better than those they were supposed to be protected from”, he said.
Mutawalle urged top hierarchy of all the security agencies to enlighten their subordinates to imbibe and sustain cordial relationship with the civil populace.