Nigeria said Tuesday it is reviving a “war against indiscipline” campaign in a reincarnation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s strict social crusade when he served as military ruler over 30 years ago.
Buhari initiated the so-called war against indiscipline brigade to tackle corruption and moral turpitude in the West African country after seizing power in a military coup in December 1983.
The now-notorious campaign, which saw whip-wielding soldiers enforce neat queues at chaotic bus stops and tardy public servants do humiliating frog jumps, cemented Buhari’s reputation as a disciplinarian — a trait that endears him to Nigerians craving order and accountability.
“In this era of insecurity, violence and other forms of social vices, the role of the war against indiscipline brigade in civil intelligence gathering cannot be over-emphasised,” the National Orientation Agency (NOA), a government promotion organisation, said in a statement.
The brigade, which is a voluntary, non-profit force, has been on the streets since its inception but NOA head Garba Abari said that the government hopes to make the brigade more “relevant.”
“They can help through moral persuasion. We should expect more of them at the local government,” Abari said to AFP.
“We are also going to find a way of really coordinating their activities. We will find a way of funding them.”
Buhari was voted into power on an anti-corruption platform in 2015 and has pledged to stamp out endemic graft that has led to staggering poverty in Africa’s largest economy.
A collapse in global oil prices, the main government revenue source for Nigeria, has triggered an economic crisis in the country with critics alleging Buhari’s focus on corruption is coming at the expense of financial growth.