Vanguard (Lagos)

13 November 2012

Nigeria: Civil Defense Corps to Dismiss Officers That Misuse Arms - Commandant

Lagos State Command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps has handed over arms to over 100 officers of its special squad. Speaking at the handing over ceremony last weekend,in Ikeja, the Assistant Commandant-General of the Command, Mr Sam Onyenachi, said the items were procured by the government to further strengthen the capacity of the corps in the discharge its duties more efficiently.

He emphasized that the officers were selected across different formations in the state.

Onyenachi said the corps had the mandate to secure critical infrastructure in the country,stating that the arms was to enable his men confront the dangerous activities of vandals. "Initially, it was very easy for us to arrest vandals with our bare hands. We could see them,chase them and before we knew it,they would surrender. But as time went on ,we discovered that they came up with other dangerous arrangement. We discovered each time we visited them, they were armed to the teeth.

"And the Federal Government,having seen that it was very hazardous chasing the vandals with bare hands, decided to amend the act establishing the corps to incorporate possession of arms. We are happy today that the arms have been delivered and this would, no doubt, enhance the capacity of our men to secure the country's assets," he said.

Onyenachi dismissed fears in some quarters that the arms would be mishandled and abused by officers of the corps,assuring they had been adequately trained on how to use the weapons. The commandant however, warned the benefiting officers against the misuse of the arms, saying the corps would not hesitate to dismiss and prosecute erring officers.

"This arm is not for you to jubilate over. It is not an end but a means to do your job properly. The corps would not hesitate to strip or dismiss any officer found abusing the use of the arms."

He commended the Federal Government for the provision of the items, saying it would also help the men tackle cases of telecommunications masts and pipeline vandalism in the country. It would be recalled that the Federal Government, recently announced the delivery of arms to NSCDC commands across the country to enable the corps check threats posed by armed vandals.

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