Within the past few months that I was out of Abuja, a lot seemed to have happened at the Nigerian security and Civil defence corps that deserves to be tagged giant strides. Characteristically, I will attempt to chronicle some of them in order for most discerning minds to decipher and appreciate the efforts of the man at the helm of affairs.
Firstly, in response to what is trending now, the Commandant – General of the Corps, Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu directed his men to swiftly clampdown on people from within and outside the corps who specialise in posting ‘’offensive, provocative and disparaging’’ comments about the Corps on the social media and bring them to justice. He sees this act as a diversionary measure to distract him from performing his functions with due diligence. In mitigating this trend, Abdullahi Gana offered to avail himself to constructive criticism; in addition to the open door policy that he runs for those who have honest suggestions to offer.
To achieve success, the Commandant – General has realised that he needs a skilled and combatant staff in place. His words, ‘’crime has assumed a very complex and sophisticated dimension requiring the use of state of the art gadgets for crime prevention and detection, most especially the issue of incessant kidnapping’’. Hence, since assumption of office to date, he has prioritised staff welfare and training. Over 10,000 personnel were sent for various intensive training programmes with their salaries and allowances paid as at when due. Further still, the Commandant – General has deployed over 12,000 personnel to different communities to resolve disputes nation-wide. According to him, ‘’the personnel are to prevent conflicts from escalating; especially in remote areas of Nigeria’’. He urged the personnel to build on the ‘’good work the organisation is noted for which earned it encomium from the world‘s highest body, the United Nations. Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, a German NGO also embarked on peace mediation training for officers of the Corps in a bid to strengthen peace and security in Nigeria. The country representative of the NGO, Mrs. Hildegard Kigozi, indicated that ‘’the good work done by the agency under Abdullah Gana Muhammadu propelled them to equip the personnel of the civil defence corps with latest skills in line with international best practice. An epitome of administrative rectitude, Gana has year in – year out, replenished the personnel in readiness for their onerous duties.
As a matter of policy, insurance cover has been provided for staff in the event of accident, death or disability in the course of duty. The quality of service delivery offered by the corps is incontrovertible, following which many government agencies went into partnership with them to secure their installations and or investments. Recently, the Nigeria Communication Commission signed agreement with the corps to protect communication installations across the country from vandalisation in order to ensure quality telecom services to Nigerians. This is in addition to the about 3,000 capacity agro- rangers unit established by the Corps to protect farmers and their farm land from armed banditry and kidnapping.
Personally, I have observed that everywhere the Commandant – General went throughout his tour of duty to the North East, following a Presidential directive, he was welcomed with so much love and goodwill. He is a gentle man officer who is nationally acknowledged as fair, principled, just and detribalised. His visit to the troubled area ravaged by Boko Haram, banditry and other negative vices has shown his capacity to confront, head on, national catastrophes. This tells us how much the Corps has come to be appreciated by Nigerians.
Abdullahi Gana has made his mark so poignantly devoid of inter – agency rivalry by ensuring that his officers behave properly like the servants of the law that they are. It is disheartening to observe that some agencies have jettisoned inter-agency cooperation, without regard to the fact that huge successes are usually recorded when agencies co-operate through the sharing of actionable intelligence. This is a legitimate concern. As our national heads out of these turbulent times, we hope the Commandant – General will maintain his steadfastness as he confronts his duties.
–Dr. Yarima wrote in from Abuja.
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