By Ati Terkula
Following the retirement from the service of Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu in January 2021, the federal government approved the promotion and appointment of a little known officer, Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi, as the new Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). on the 18th February 2021.
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) was established by Act 3 of 2003 with numerous security responsibilities including primarily the protection of public property from vandalization as well as arrest of vandals while also assisting other security agencies in protecting the lives and property of the citizenry.
This Act was amended in year 2007, to further strengthen and empower the Corps for better service delivery.
In its early years notably in the infancy stage led by retired Comptroller General Dr. Ade Aboderin, the corps was the darling of the civil populace living up to its mandate and was admired by all against the backdrop of an unpopular Nigeria Police which had a reputation for corruption and oppression.
The Corp had proven that professionalism was possible in the Nigerian security framework and it was practical for all to see but as the NSCDC continues to grow, the cankerworm of corruption and terror has gradually taken base and may likely grow into an unstoppable cancer if nothing is done to save this security outfit.
Not absolving the Ministry of Interior and the NSCDC board, it is said that when fish begins to rot, it starts with the head.
NSCDC under the new Comptroller, has continued to descend into more decays as the it has assumed the role of a new corruption cesspit where lawlessness has taken base.
Unlike his predecessors who were public darlings and steered the corps away from public controversy, the current Comptroller General, Dr. Audi has proven to be a lover of the opposite.
NSCDC has severally proven to live beyond its mandate by intimidating innocent Nigerians who have suffered several acts of brutality from his convoy and men on his personal security team.
One will actually wonder why the Buhari administration which has severally chanted the anti-corruption mantra has refused to turn an eye towards the numerous allegations leveled against the Comptroller General.
It is actually a thing of worry that Dr. Ahmed Abubakar Audi, has been the topic of grave allegations which have even been celebrated by the media including job racketeering where slots have been sold out to intending personnel at amounts ranging from 200,000.00 to 500,000.00 Naira. Nobody is saying a thing about this.
Only recently in a publication by Sahara Reporters it was alleged that all contracts awarded by the previous Comptroller General have been stalled until kick back negotiations are done by him, including the award of several contracts to companies belonging to cronies without due process and in the same vein paying them upfront. These things are in the media, why is nobody saying something?
It is certainly appalling that when Nigerian youth rose against the illegality in the Police, NSCDC was seen as an alternative; however there has since been a surge in bribe-taking check points on the highways by men of the NSCDC who have taken over from the police whose reforms have already begun to produce fruits.
While Nigerians await a reaction from the Presidency, Ministry Of Interior and the Board to save the security outfit from running amiss and also forestall the reoccurrence of another protest by well-meaning Nigerians who deserve protection and not terror from the security operatives whose salaries are paid by their taxes, it will be wise to remind us all that a stitch in time saves nine.
Ati Terkula writes from Makurdi Benue State
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