The coalition of Civil Society Networks, one of the formidable civil society networks in Nigeria and the diaspora saddled with the responsibility of promoting accountability, transparency and good governance has staged peaceful protests to the National Assembly, Abuja.
The reason for the protest, according to its Coordinator, Comrade Zakari Hashimu, include scrapping the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and working out a complete and effective reform that would make the outfit meet up with the global standard of fighting crime.
Reading the press statement to the media, Comrade Hashimu said the exercise was yet another solidarity one to demand the immediate reform of the NSCDC in line with global best practices and standards, saying the way the outfit is constituted now cannot achieve the aim of its establishment.
Hashimu reminded that, “On the 5th of October, we took a similar peaceful protest to the Headquarters of the NSCDC demanding for the immediate sack of the Commandant and institute proper reforms of the NSCDC under his stewardship,” adding, “and today, we are here at the National Assembly Abuja to present before distinguished and honourable members of the National Assembly the need to scrap and reform the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.
The Coordinator read the statement further thus: “Worried by the current insecurity in the country, the federal government should commence moves in amending the Act setting up the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). There has been a public perception on the conflicting roles of the Nigerian Police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and this outcry by the citizenry calls for the immediate reform and amendment of the of NSCDC Acts.”
According to him, security is critical to the stability and development of any nation and in response to multifaceted security challenges besetting Nigeria, both the Federal Government and the National Assembly should work together and look forward to possible amendments of the NSCDC Act to enable it achieve its core mandate of protecting critical national infrastructure and clearly spell out the similarities in the security roles played by the NSCDC and the police to curb the occurrence of clashes between the two.
The Coalition also urged the Ministry of Interior to ensure that there is a synergy between the NSCDC and the Police while performing their official duties to avoid unnecessary conflict between them, regretting that, “we have witnessed two economic recessions within the period of this Administration despite the huge amount of financial support to security agencies in Nigeria!”
The National Security adviser was also tasked to as a matter of urgent actions summit necessary recommendations and advise the president appropriately on the outcry by Nigerians to scrap and reform the NSCDC.
“How can a security organization like the NSCDC publicly display arms purchased to fight against insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and other social-related crimes?! This action clearly shows that the NSCDC is incapacitated and lacks professionalism to fight crimes,” the statement observed.
Hashimu, therefore, seized the opportunity of the media parley to call the attention of the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari not to make himself or his office available to some name droppers whose antics is boasting in public domain that they are in his caucus and are untouchable and so can do anything and go away with it, reminding that, the country is bigger than any individual.
“It is no doubt that NSCDC has not been effectively delivering its responsibilities to Nigerians since its establishment despite the huge amount of financial support from President Muhammadu Buhari and the previous administrations despite adequate budgetary allocations to enable it effectively and diligently discharge its statutory mandate under established Act 3 of 2003 with numerous security responsibilities.
“It is against this backdrop that we strongly move for the removal of the NSCDC and call for proper investigation into recruitment processes in NSCDC regarding alleged job racketeering in recruitment exercise the recent times in most Ministries, Departments and Agencies where money is used in getting appointment letters has become normal.
“We thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his relentless pursuit and support to security agencies. This has however demonstrated the president’s willingness in addressing the rising security challenges confronting us as a nation,” Hashimu submitted.
Concluding, the Coalition thereby pass a vote of confidence on the National Security Adviser and the Nigerian Police Force for their gallantry and efforts in promoting dialogue, peace and stability in the country and appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to double resources for the Nigerian Police Force.
“We equally pass a similar vote of confidence on other sister security agencies like the Department of State Security Services (DSS) and the Nigerian Army. We would equally take similar solidarity protest to the Ministry of Interior to register our position and we shall continue to work under this platform of the Coalition of Civil Society Network to ensure that Nigeria succeeds in her quest to restore the confidence the system has lost in the Nigerian Youths.”