The Nigerian government has announced it is relaunching the controversial “war against indiscipline” task force, more than 32 years after it was first introduced during a military dictatorship, 911 Breaking News reports.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who was elected last year after running a campaign promising to fight corruption, first established the brigade in 1984 and charged it with maintaining public order.
Pledging that it would once again fight for “orderliness in our society, both in private and public life”, the 170,000-strong force made up mostly of volunteers will be redeployed across Nigeria. When operating under Buhari, the force was able to hand out fines for offences such as littering or “not queuing correctly” at bus stops.
At the official launch in the capital on Monday, August 15, the head of the National Orientation Agency, a government organization tasked with running the brigade, announced that in a period of insecurity and violence exacerbated by the Islamist group Boko Haram the war against indiscipline (WAI) would play a crucial role in “civil intelligence gathering”.
The minister of information, Lai Mohammed, has also said that the brigade will help to address the “lack of ethics and values” in Nigerian society.
“Many Nigerians are worried about the erosion of values, widespread indiscipline, dwindling integrity and poor attitude to work,” he told reporters when plans for the WAI’s return were first announced in May.