THE Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Mr Muhammad Gana, has said that the values of integrity and dedication espoused by the founding fathers of the corps will be sustained as it marks 53 years of existence in Nigeria.
Gana speaking during the Founder’s Day celebration of the corps in Abuja, recalled that the organisation came into being in Nigeria on 16th May, 1967 during the Nigerian Civil War within the then Federal Capital Territory of Lagos for the purpose of sensitization and protection of the civil populace.
He noted that the anniversary celebration was a time for reflection while expressing gladness and commendation on the sterling performance and achievements of the corps since its establishment in Nigeria.
The commandant-general walking down memory lane on the creation of the corps said it was then known as Lagos Civil Defence Committee, an offshoot of the International Civil Defence Organisation (ICDO).
He said the corps played a crucial role in bringing succour to the Nigerian civilian population during the civil war.
He said: “It later metamorphosed into the present-day Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in 1970.
“On inception, the corps had the objective of carrying out some educational and enlightenment campaigns in and around the Federal Capital of Lagos to sensitize members of the civil populace on enemy attacks and how to save themselves from danger as most Nigerians living in and around Lagos territory then had little or no knowledge about war and its implications.
“Members of the Corps at that time educated people through electronic and print media on how to guide themselves during air raids, bomb attacks, identify bombs and how to dive into trenches during bomb blast.
“In 1984, the corps was transformed into a national security outfit and in 1988, a major re-structuring of the corps, led to the establishment of Commands throughout the federation, including Abuja, and the addition of special functions by the Federal Government.
“On June 28, 2003, an Act to give statutory backing to the NSCDC passed by the National Assembly was signed into law by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former president and Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Gana said since the corps had been a veritable tool in the fight against economic sabotage by putting up spirited fights against both water and oil pipeline vandalism, it is taking a lead in the protection of public infrastructure in the country.
He paid tribute to the “gallant officers and men” of the corps who had died in the course of their service to the nation, saying their labour and sacrifice would not be in vain.
He also commended the role being played by the corps in the combined efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, saying officers and men of the corps have been deployed across the nation on enforcement of the lockdown directive of the Federal Government.
He said: “The Corps has been commended by state governors and several others over security measures taken to protect farmers and herders in the country through its newly established team of agro rangers.
“It is interesting to also note that one of the major responsibilities apportioned to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps by the Federal Government is to manage disaster.
“Even in a disaster situation like Covid 19, the role of the Corps cannot be overemphasized. The Corps, it has been observed, has not failed in terms of quick response to accident victims, victims of fire outbreaks and collapsed buildings, casualties in riots and even victims of the several ethno-religious crises in the country,” he said.
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