*secures 59 convictions in eight months
By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has said that it has destroyed no fewer than 71 illegal refineries, arrested 501 suspected pipeline vandals and oil thieves within the last eight months.
In addition, 59 convictions were recorded within the same period.
The Commandant General of the Agency, Dr. Ahmed Abubakar Audi made the disclosure during the commissioning of 93 operational and utility vehicles by the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aragbesola in Abuja.
Audi, who also promised to continue to work in synergy with sister security agencies noted that the specialised operational vehicles would be used to combat potential threats to national security.
He identified such acts as crude oil theft, illegal bunkering, smuggling, pipeline vandalism and other crimes within the coastal and offshore areas as inimical to economic growth of the nation.
According to a release by DCC Olusola Odumosu, Director, Public Relations of the agency Audi expressed appreciation to other sister security agencies and stakeholders for their continuous synergy and collaboration,
In addition, he assured that the commissioned vehicles would not only be put to judicious use but will equally be well maintained.
The NSCDC boss explained that they will be handed over to State Commands, National Headquarters and other designated departments and units for specialised duties.
He however warned that any personnel found conniving or compromising national security and the Corps’ Standard Operational Procedure would face the law for appropriate sanctions.
While commisioning the vehicles earlier, Aregbesola said “the gesture became possible with the support of President Muhammadu Buhari, which signifies commitment in confronting the pockets of insecurity bedeviling the country.
He stated that, with the vehicular support arms and equipment given to the Corps, there is no excuse for failure other than to deliver on its assigned mandate.
Aregbesola reiterated that, the commissioning of the vehicles was another leap in positioning NSCDC for better performance in tandem with President Buhari’s policy on ending different security challenges confronting the nation.
He further explained that, the vehicular support is for improved service delivery to enable personnel of the Corps mobilise and arrive timely at scenes of crimes, disasters or emergency.
The Minister who described the Corps as a Nigerian creation, warned personnel of the Corps against any form of brutality but rather, encouraged them to be civil with the populace while implementing its mandates of protecting Critical National Assets and Infrastructure, regulation of private guards companies, crisis and disaster management and other ad-hoc assignments such as Agro rangers, among others.
Aragbesola commended the leadership of NSCDC under Dr Ahmed Audi whom he described as focused and visionary, resulting in significant milestones in the last one year.