From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
The Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Abubakar Audi, disclosed on Wednesday that he had received intelligence reports of miscreants planning to attack facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) across the country.
He also said there were reports of a dangerous group in town disguised in uniforms with the intent to attack citizens.
The NSCDC boss who spoke at the last CG’s Conference for the year 2022 with Zonal Commanders and State Commandants Nationwide, charged all of them to activate their intelligence antennas, stating that they would be held responsible for any attack in their state.
He said Corps had already begun strategising towards ensuring effective and adequate security to guarantee, free, fair, credible and transparent 2023 general elections.
The CG further noted that there will be a massive deployment of personnel to sensitive areas across the country during the oncoming festivities.
“We decided to assemble our colleagues from other states in other to take stock of what we have been doing so far and then re-echo to all of us on the need to continue to strengthen our efforts in fighting this monster, insecurity,” Audi said.
“We have heard from intelligence that there is a dangerous group in town. Our attention was drawn to it and that they dress in security uniforms and they have started unleashing mayhem on the citizens and so we have to buckle up and fish these people out.
“A certain group of miscreants and disloyal persons to the nation have decided to launch an attack on our various critical and national infrastructure and their target is INEC facilities.
“We got information that the hoodlums soak bread in petrol and light it and throw it into the INEC facilities to cause disaster. But we are saying that somebody somewhere is supposed to have sighted them doing this. So have to work with your intelligence to make sure you get proactive
“There is no way that no state actors will surpass the powers of the state. So we must live up to expectations and uphold the confidence that government has in us.
“In the next two to three weeks, the nation is going to begin preparations for the general elections so this conference is apt, central and germane.
“And you know that by the virtue of our act it out duty to provide security and protection for national critical assets and infrastructure.
“We are going to hold our commandants responsible if there is any attack on INEC facilities in any state. You just work very closely with the Police and other security agencies to protect these INEC offices.
“It is better to prevent than to do damage control. Damage control is usually capital-intensive. You must work closely with the police
“You must coordinate your states effectively and submit minute-by-minute reports. You must organise workshops for personnel. They must know the rules of engagement. You know our position. You are supposed to be apolitical. If you choose to be political, you are on your own
“This is a festive period. It is going to be full of activities and so there is going to be a massive deployment of NSDC personnel to sensitive areas, like worship centres, recreational centres, and other relaxation spots just to provide security and safety to Nigerians
“The year 2022 has been very challenging when talking against the backdrop of activities of bandits, kidnappers, and insurgents. However, despite the daring challenges, the NSCDC will continue to make a mark in the discharge of its core mandate and other national assignments.”