By Kelechi Ogunleye
The Nigeria Security and Civil DefenceCorps (NSCDC) says it has destroyed 71 illegal refineries, and arrested about 501 suspected pipeline vandals and oil thieves.
NSCDC Commandant General (CG), Ahmed Audi, who disclosed this in his remarks on Thursday in Abuja at the inauguration of 93 operational vehicles for the Corps by the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
Audi explained that the figure represented achievements of the corps between January and August.
He noted that the specialised operational vehicles would be used to combat potential threats to national security, resulting from felonious acts.
He identified such acts as crude oil theft, illegal bunkering, smuggling, pipeline vandalism and other crimes within the coastal and offshore areas.
He explained that the inaugurated vehicles would be deployed to commands and the headquarters, alongside designated special duties.
He warned that any personnel found to connive or compromise national security would face the law court of ethics and the corps’ Standard Operational Procedure for appropriate sanctions.
Audi expressed appreciation to other sister security agencies and stakeholders for their continuous collaboration and cooperations.
Meanwhile, Aregbesola charged the corps to remain intolerant of anything that posed threat to the safety and peace of Nigerians.
He said that the acquisition of the operational vehicles was a proactive step to addressing internal insecurity in the country.
“Utilise and maintain the vehicles to serve their purpose and ensure to train personnel to operate the vehicles,” he said.
According to him, there are challenges of vandalism of critical assets, oil theft, banditry, insurgency, amongst others that must be eliminated.
“The incessant attacks on our Critical National Assets and Infrastructure in particular have become a grievous wound dangerously bleeding the nation’s economy and this must be effectively addressed, checkmated and curbed.
“We shall not relent but must remain focused to eradicate the existence of criminals which is the essence of equipping the corps.”
Aregbesola assured the corps of the Federal Government’s continuous support in repositioning it to maintain the pride of place in ensuring national security.
He called on NSCDC to remain steadfast, urging them to improve in their synergy with the Army, Police and other security agencies.
“NSCDC plays a complementary role so there shouldn’t be rivalry,” he advised.
He further called on officers and men of the corps to imbibe the attitude of civility, compassion and adopt communication methods to engage citizens.
He, however, warned that being civil to citizens shouldn’t deter the corps from being firm but avoid brutality.(NAN)