Clash of interest: Police, NSCDC have clear roles under the constitution – Tunji-Ojo

The Minister of Interior, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has said the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) should brace up to perform its constitutional role.

According to him, the constitution was clear on the role of the corps, which are to secure the nation’s critical infrastructure.

Speaking at the celebration of World Civil Defence Day in Abuja on Friday, the minister said there are distinct roles in the constitution for both the Nigeria Police Force and the NSCDC and there was no reason for a clash in roles.

He said that the members of the Civil Defence Corps have no reason to perform the role of the police as they have a duty to ensure that the nation’s oil pipelines are not vandalized and oil theft is a thing of the past.

He also said they have the duty of ensuring that a stop is put to illegal mining and that lives and property at mining sites are protected.

The minister said: “I have not come here to commend you but rather to tell you to brace up, as there is much more that needs to be done.”

He, however, called for collaboration among all security apparatus in the country to stem the tide of insecurity in the country.

The Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Ahmed Audi, stated that the Corps has intensified patrol, monitoring, surveillance, and has implemented adequate security measures to ensure the protection of Critical National Assets and Infrastructure (CNAI) in all its formations across the country, including the Federal Capital Territory, to prevent violent attacks, willful damage, vandalism, and sabotage.

He said: “The Corps’ Anti-Vandal Squad and the Commandant General’s Special Intelligence Squad have continued to wage a relentless war against vandals of critical national assets and infrastructure, as well as oil thieves, among others.

“The sudden upsurge in the vandalization of railway tracks and sleepers is also being critically addressed, as the Corps has initiated an onslaught on these criminal elements/economic saboteurs. This renewed effort has led to several arrests and seizures in the past year.”

He revealed that between January and February 2024 alone, the Corps has made a significant impact in the war against vandalization and oil theft, with over 57 suspects arrested. A greater percentage of the arrested vandals are those involved in the vandalization of railway tracks and sleepers.

He said: “Similarly, on January 11, 2024, at about 0057hrs, the Corps, in conjunction with the Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, also arrested a vessel, MT KALI, suspected to have been involved in oil theft at sea in Beneti, Bayelsa State.

“The vessel was apprehended with about 119 metric tons of crude oil already loaded. Twelve (12) crew members and eleven (11) community members onboard were arrested and are currently undergoing investigation.”

Audi, who is also celebrating three years as CG, highlighted the achievements recorded from March 2021 to date, which include 1,421 arrests, 933 prosecutions, 488 convictions, and the destruction of 233 illegal refineries


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