The Nigerian government is not establishing a National Guard – Interior Minister
The attention of the Hon Minister of Interior, Lt General (Rtd), Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau, has been drawn to an erroneous publication, attributing a statement to him, that the Federal Government is planning to establish a National Guard in Nigeria. While appreciating the increasing spirit of cooperation and collaboration between the Ministry and the press, it is necessary to make clarification on the issue.
It is evident that the Minister’s statement was misrepresented. The reference to the Nigerian National Guard was made by the Hon. Minister in his speech to the U.S military delegation of the California National Guard, led by its adjutant General, Gen David Baldwin as a reflection of Nigeria’s attempt to establish a National Guard, during President Ibrahim Babangida’s administration. It is important to state that the Minister’s statement did not in anyway suggest that the present administration is considering the establishment of a National Guard, or any similar security agency. Nigerians are therefore called upon to disregard the erroneous statement accredited to the Honourable Minister.
The visit by the California National Guard is a continuation of Nigeria and U.S relationship in furtherance of the Security Governance Initiative which was recently signed by the present administration. The Minister, who played host to the visiting U.S military officers from the California National Guard, was emphatic on the need to advance the competency, skills and operational capability of security agencies under the Ministry through training, which is the focal point of the collaboration in this regard.