The President Muhammadu Buhari government, on Monday, August 8, 2016 relaunched the defunct War Against Indiscipline, WAI Brigade, in Abuja.
The director general of the National Orientation Agency, Mr. Garba Abari, at a workshop organised for the brigade in Abuja on Monday, August 8, 2016 by the agency, said the Brigade is was meant to enhanced civil intelligence gathering toward an orderly and secure society in line with the change mantra of the present administration.
He stressed that in this era of insecurity, violence and other forms of social vices, the role of the WAI Brigade in civil intelligence gathering could not be overemphasised.
Abari said the government believes that WAI Brigade members across the country should be encouraged to redouble their vigilance in the local governments, the wards and their various villages in order to contribute their quota towards building a secure society.
The NOA boss recalled that WAI was a brainchild of President Muhammadu Buhari which he established in 1984 as Military Head of State, noting that its essence was to instil discipline in the society and support the fight against corruption.
He said the ills and woes that bedevilled the nation at the time were still manifest in the country, thereby necessitating the efforts of the Brigade to help fight against social vices.
Abari said, “The present administration has declared its intention to re-launch the Brigade for better performance and bring its activities to the fore.”
He called on members of the Brigade to contribute their quota to make the change mantra of the present administration a reality.
In his remarks, the WAI Brigade national commander, Mustapha Muhammad, commended the agency’s commitment to the change mantra of the present administration and called on members to sustain the tempo of responsibility despite non-funding from the government for over three decades.
He called on the federal government to officially recognise and gazette the Brigade as the only voluntary organisation in Nigeria that is the brain-child of the Federal Government.
Muhammad also urged NOA to work out modalities for the recognition of the WAI Brigade for greater efficiency.
War Against Indiscipline, WAI – A Legacy Of Human Rights Abuses
The WAI Brigade is a force General Muhammadu Buhari launched to “whip Nigerians into shape” during his brutal military regime of the 80s. The brigade, formed by a military decree, was known for widespread human rights abuses against Nigerians.
The official statement announcing the WAI Brigade in 1984 said:
“One of the visible objectives of WAI was the encouragement of customers and citizens to line up to board buses and mostly line up or queue for high demand services.
“Other objectives included the encouragement of women to train their wards, as the culture then considered child raising a predominant female skill and proper home training would groom future disciplined adults.
“A second objective promoting hard work was introduced in May, 1984, this objective like many others was buoyed by the use of government owned media.
“In July, 1985, the Buhari administration launched environmental sanitation as the fifth phase of the program. WAI’s third and fourth phases focused on patriotism and eradicating economic sabotage and corruption.”
Nigerians were mercilessly on the streets and bus stops, and forced into manual labour by the brigade leading to widespread outcry.
The WAI Brigade was abolished when the Ibrahim Bagangida-led coup toppled Buhari’s regime in 1985.