The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps ( NSCDC), being one of the youngest para-military security organisations in the country, is gradually becoming what the Act that established it envisaged it to be. Since 2003, the organisation has been making frantic efforts to assert itself in the security community in Nigeria. The organisation has stumbled and, instead of falling, it has continued to muster courage to achieve its mandate.
Step by step, the organisation has come of age and, today, it enjoys such attention and acceptance that no security activity takes place around the country without its contribution as a game player.
Indeed, the NSCDC is fast becoming a security organisation to be reckoned with in all spheres and ramifications. Its operational activities are felt even at the Presidency level and as lower down as all the local government areas of the country. The needed boost as a security organisation is the approval for the personnel to be armed, and this has greatly enhanced their activities.
On the eve of the Anambra State gubernatorial election, I set out to visit the new enclave of the organisation, along the Abuja Airport Road. Prior to that day, I had sent a brief text to the controller-general of the organisation, and within minutes I got a reply. That is how security organisations should be run, when members of the public have unrestricted access to those in authority at every strata of the hierarchy.
I recall a retired Inspector-General of Police, who would never pick his phone calls while in office except calls from the Presidency and state governors. Throughout the years he held sway, it was a waste of time to call his phone number as it would ring endlessly without a response. Surprisingly, a few months after he was out of office, the avalanche of calls disappeared and he was the one placing calls across to people and inviting uninterested people for a drink and to hang out.
When the NSCDC boss responded to my text message, that singular act became the needed catalyst that propelled me to refocus on the organisation and the first step of a good public relations run; so, I felt comfortable driving for 30 minutes to the new headquarters of the NSCDC, a short distance away from the headquarters of the imigration service.
A time was when any personnel in blue uniform of the NSCDC attracted scorn from other security agencies. Even members of the public detested them and writers only focused on the bad part of their activities. In fact, a former Inspector-General of Police, when addressing senior officers, would make degrading remarks of the Civil Defence corps, noting that the police was gradually slumping to become Civil Defenc, “lf care is not taken, the police job would be taken over by these Civil Defence people.”
Many years have passed and one can prophetically say, with the way things are going in the police, if care is not taken, indeed the Civil Defence may eventually take over the activities of the police that are fast losing relevance in the country.
Inside the sprawling compound, the colour blue stands out as you see the personnel moving to and fro like soldier ants very busy and dutiful. It is on record that police personnel always abandon their beats before time, while Civil Defence personel exhibit discipline during operations. The Civil Defence enclave is one away from the choky atmosphere of the bustling federal capital city of Abuja. I was in the enclave of recruited young men and women trained to handle some sensitive parts of our security. Here, you see sheer discipline in action. Here, you see young men and ladies exhibiting raw, patriotic zeal.
(To be continued).
Behold the month of criminality!
The month of December unarguably is the month of festivity. It is also the month the people of the world, especially Christians, rejoice in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. It is the month King Herod directed that all newborn sons be killed while searching for the baby Jesus, no wonder December is known as the month of criminality. In security circles, it is the month security personnel stand on their toes because of criminal activities that abound. This is the period when any security leader cannot afford to fold his arms as December is around the corner without any proactive strategic plan. More criminal permutations and activities are perpetrated around this festive period. The situation is further compounded due to the poor economic situation in the country. The criminal tendencies, especially among the youths, make it more apparent during this festive periodas many would go the extra mile to illegally make money through dubious means. This is the period when burglary is rife. This is the period when robbers strike more. This is the time when road accidents are on the increase. This is the period when young girls indulge in immoral acts with no qualms. The rate of criminality usually forces security agencies to wake up from slumber. The desire to make quick money through dubious means further increases the criminal propensity among the people around the country. When the youth are not engaged by government, then the onus would be on government to be ready to disengage and discourage youths from acts of criminality. People should be extra careful and sensitive about their personal security. Same attitudes should be extended to all our surroundings by being vigilant. It is important that children should be taught elementary security that would help their safety. People should be aware of their social responsibility to always pass vital information to security agents around them.
Congratulations: We congratulate Mr. Ade Ajakaiye, former Lagos State police commissioner, who retired as an Assistant lnspector General of Police (AIG), a renowned poet, on his latest book, titled “Fire in My Soul,” a collection of poems.