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Group wants sports minister probed over red beret, military fatigues

A pro-Democracy Non-governmental organisation – Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has demanded the immediate probe of the Minister of Sports and Youth Development Mr Solomon Danlong over his preference for appearing in Red beret cap and dress that either depicts him as a suspected member of one of the banned confraternities/secret cults in Nigeria’s Tertiary institutions. 

The Rights group said it was worried that if appropriate clarifications are not immediately provided and the minister asked to desist from dressing comically on national stage it could be construed that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s Government has officially endorsed the particular secret confraternity that is identified by the adorning of red beret and dresses that looks like military fatigue. 

The group said the minister’s style of dressing violates extant national dress code in a purely civilian led democratic government and must be checked forthwith. 

HURIWA has also asked the military authorities to question the minister for adorning dresses that bear semblance to military combat fatigue.

HURIWA has in a statement signed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to call the sports and youth development minister Mr Solomon Danlong to order and compel him to dress properly and decently.

This is so as not to create confusing signal and impression that belonging to any of the confraternities renowned for causing intra-campus uprisings resulting in violence is now an acceptable national past time.  

HURIWA said it has no concrete evidence to link the Sports and youth minister, Mr Solomon Danlong, a Lawyer, to membership of any of the Campus Cults but expressed strong reservations that his choice of dressings in symbolism and tangible costumes closely related to what some of these dreaded groups wear is worryingly traumatic. “If the minister strongly feels like wearing distinctive clothes then he can as well adorn himself with the validly permitted legal regalia or alternatively he can take a Chieftain title that will guarantee him a unique dress mode that won’t attract suspicions”.

HURIWA also said that assuming the Sports and Youth Affairs Minister is not a member of the alleged secret cult notorious for violent conduct in the nation’s Universities, then he mustn’t appear in a military fatigue as a civilian and democratically inaugurated member of the Executive Council of the Federation which by all intents and purposes is neither a military or quasi -military organ since Nigeria operates a fully constitutional democracy.

The Rights group said it is disheartening that a public official who purports to speak for the Sports and Youth Sectors to be decked often in confusing apparels that can easily be misconstrued as the dress code and style of some banned secret campus cults or as a maverick performer in a dance hall or a recruit into one para military agency or the other. 

HURIWA said: “We have watched with trepidation and considerable consternation, the unfathomable dress sense and style of the Youth and Sports minister which conveys the impression of a person marketing the dressing style of suspected banned secret confraternity in the Nigerian school system. Enough is enough.  

“Let the Sport Minister stop creating doubts in the young minds of Nigerians. He must wear any of the national dresses known to everyone in Nigeria and stop appearing as a performer on a drama or circus stage. The youth are watching. 

If he is a member of the Boys Scout or Boys Brigade or if he is a member of one of the numerous para military institutions then let him resign forthwith and concentrate on wearing this khaki uniform and his red beret and military fatigue. “

Emmanuel Onwubiko

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