By Muyiwa Adetokumbo
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) was established by Act 3 of 2003 with numerous security responsibilities. This Act was amended in 2007 to strengthen and empower the Corps for better service delivery.
The Corps has carried out its activities in line with the provision of the Act and has, over the period under review, succeeded in making landmark achievements. Stakeholders in the country have corroborated this much. However, the activities of the NSCDC gathered momentum with the appointment of Ahmed Abubakar Audi as the commandant-general in 2021.
Since then, there has been no looking back. The Commandant-General, in a short space, introduced notable reforms that indeed placed the organization in good stead to deliver on its mandate.
I have long advocated that what is needed in the country is leadership. Once we get the leadership question right, things will naturally fall into place. The NSCDC example is a worthy one that should be emulated. Ahmed Abubakar Audi brought to bear his passion and commitment on the job, and the results have been pouring in in truckload.
One area that has gone unnoticed is the issue of staff welfare, which, in my opinion, is instructive and in line with the Renewed Hope mantra of the Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration. This is aside from the clearing of the backlog of promotions that have stalled for several years.
Today, the promotion backlog has been cleared, and staffers get promoted when due. The implication of this is that the staff morale received a tremendous boost. It is now common to find the NSCDC recording tangible achievements in its operational mandate.
Sometime in 2022, the Commandant General was recognized for exceptional performance. He was conferred with the National Honour of Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria alongside other eminent personalities who have distinguished themselves in service to the country.
In appreciation, the Commandant General stated that he was grateful to be acknowledged and awarded with such a National Honour, and this signifies the need to put in more effort towards improving national security.
Under the leadership of the Commandant General, the NSCDC has been rejuvenated and has not only recorded a string of successes in the Protection of Critical National Assets and Infrastructure and conviction of arrested suspects but has ensured regular and prompt sharing of actionable intelligence and effective synergy with other security agencies.
This is leadership at work and why the NSCDC example should be emulated nationwide. This reinforces that once there is a will, there will be a way. The stark reality on the ground requires proactive actions, using the NSCDC as an example.
Some might not fully grasp the impact of the NSCDC on our national life because some of its interventions have yet received adequate media attention. This is understandable because the Commandant General does not play to the gallery. He is a silent achiever whose short tenure has accomplished what successive administrations could not achieve.
I understand his philosophy is hinged on getting the job done first before any other thing. This is what is at play at the NSCDC today. But we must learn to give honor to whom it is due. So, in a way, this piece is in celebration and commendation of passion, patriotism, and commitment to nation-building.
We need more of such individuals in positions of authority in the country. The country needs people passionate about nation-building and people who see service to the country as a topmost priority.
I must not fail to mention the supervisory role of the Minister of Interior, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, who, within months, has displayed strong leadership in ensuring that all the agencies under his watch align with the Renewed Hope mantra of the present administration.
This was essential and a deviation from the norm that promotes a lack of transparency and accountability in governance. Once we get it right from the top, other components would naturally fall in line, and the rest would be history.
If this tempo is sustained, Nigerians would experience a new lease of life. Things that appeared as rocket science would look easy. This is what the country needs at this critical point of our existence. This has played out in recent months, and it is worthy of commendation.
I would like to use this medium to commend the interior minister and the Commandant General of the NSCDC for rising to the occasion. It is not Uhuru yet, as there is room for improvement. It is not the time to rest on oars. Instead, it is the time to redouble efforts.
I am glad with the efforts so far, which is indicative of the fact that in no distant time, the country will overcome its challenges. As a people and a country, we must understand that our destiny is in our hands, and the only option we have is to make concerted efforts toward making the country work.
The NSCDC example is a good one, and I want to encourage the organization’s leadership to continue to give its best. I salute the passion and commitment of the NSCDC Commandant General towards purposeful leadership by his actions. He has written his name in gold.
Adetokumbo is a security expert based in Lagos.