Open Letter to the Commandant General Of NSCDC By Presley Akhigbe
Well, this is not the usual versions of open letter which become a drama type feature towards to later part of last year. This letter is a call to service. Call it a proposal of idea and one will not be far from the truth.
In recent years since Chief Olusegun Obasanjo federalized the NSCDC a lot of Nigerians have been finding it hard to pin point the duties and responsibilities of the NSCDC.
If you ask majority of Nigerians today about the job description of the NSCDC they‘ll say the organization is set up to tackle oil bunkery. Only very few Nigerians do know that the NSCDC also tackle certain security issues albeit very conspicuous. Similarly, there are lots of Nigerians who believe the NSCDC is a draining pipe of the FG’S resources. They argue that even before the NSCDC, Nigeria security outfits have overlapping responsibilities that there are duplicity of functions from one security outfit to the other, just as it exists in various ministries and parastatals resulting in monumental waste of governmental resources that ought to be channeled towards areas like general development of the state. This letter is not meant for the purpose of analyzing various wasteful avenues or not of the government.
Sir, I would like to suggest to your organization to have Base/Units in various parts of the country. These Base are structured like military base and will be operated in like manners but with specialized functions that will be of benefits to the population in various ways that will be briefly enumerated. But first let me give an impression of how the Base will be and can further be improved upon.
The base will be heavily fortified and secured maximally. It may consist of up to twenty five to fifty staff and be situated for starters in every geopolitical zone of the country. The base should be about two hundred meters from the road and very visible to the road users. In the event that the bases are more than two hundred meters from the roads, they should have very tall/high mast-like Antennas to beam certain colours of light, say blue, that will be visible to people from three or more kilometers away depending on the sighting and location.
Like most military base of course, the base will be surrounded with perimeter wires or low fence as the case may be. But as I will mention the purpose the base may serve, other specifications will be carved out of the ideas that can be indeed expanded. I am suggesting a base like say ‘Civil Defense Base’, CDB. The CDB will be along major routes/highways in the country to serve as:
(a) Safe Heaven for travelers: We have seen and experienced drivers and commuters getting stranded on the high ways due to lots of reasons; those stranded commuters can easily locate the nearest CDB for either mechanical assistance or camp/ lodge in the base and continue their trip when their needs are met. I anticipate a base that will have a mechanical department, welfare department, medical department and security department. Thus stranded Nigerians on the high way can take solace at the CDBs to settle their issues and further continue their trips.
(b) Security function: This perhaps is the major reason for the call for CDBs across the nation. First in the event of security issues like armed robbery on the high ways, passengers and Nigerians can quickly identify the nearest CDBs to stay until the roads are safe to travel again.
Also, the CDBs can be a backup base or say a reinforcement base to other armed forces members especially the police in the event of security emergencies. When tackling criminals on the high way, they can call for backup at the nearest base and if they are overwhelmed, they can equally seek refuge at the CDBs. Another aspect of security the base can cover is ensuring safety of Nigerians from Ritualists and ritual killings. There have been numerous cases of people escaping from ritualists and such, and getting stranded in forests and roads. Once people are familiar with the ‘light sightings’ and locations of CBDs, they’ll manage to get to the CDBs for assistance and seek refuge from kidnappers. In the same vein, it will be expected that from time to time the CDBs personnel will embark on missions of combing through the forest to fish out criminal elements like kidnappers, Robbers, Ritualists, Narcotics dealers, bunkeres etc.
Note: The issue of security with regards to running CDBs cannot be overemphasized.
(c) Medical Assistance: The CDBs will have a medical department that will render first aid assistance to accident victims from robbery and travelling patients who are sick. The sort of treatment they get will prevent lots of casualties
(d) Training Sites: If the NSCDC has base in various part of the country, it is imperative to note that lots of training can be conducted in these CDBS to staff and maybe corps member that will be posted to the CDBS. Thus apart from having mechanical, medical, welfare and other department at the site, a comprehentive training facility will be available to prepare NSCDC intakes for life as NSCDC Staff.
(e) WELFARE: If each base can have say like 10 or more rooms for accommodation/temporary lodge, travelers who wish to stay at the CDBS can pay token and lodge for the night. This area can be expanded.
With all due respect sir, there is no gain saying that NSCDC staff appear not to do much apart from duplicating duties like controlling traffic, chasing petty criminals and trying without reasonable success to restore order in the polity. Truth is the NSCDC as it is cannot tackle bunkery. Oil bankering is almost bigger than NSCDC, if not bigger than the entire armed forces put together. Oil bankering as we see is like state organized and until the federal government is ready to stop it, bankering will continue –so please while your organization try to scratch the surface out of curbing bunkering it should embrace a scheme like I have mentioned in this letter. Then again, this is Nigeria, if a proposal is sent to someone expecially if the person is highly placed the proposal is killed on arrival for various selfish reasons. Please don’t allow this proposal to be killed. Also sir, in order not to appear weak or not being thoughtful, when a proposal is sent to people in high place, they give it to their wards and secretaries and re-word the entire idea, then come forward to say they have similar idea they are working on and are indeed at the point of executing it-all just not to give credit to the owner of the idea or proposal. Sir, in this case, I am not seeking for money, but maybe a little acknowledgment that the idea might be good and besides am certain to a large extent this idea is new and probably would have been initiated or executed if it existed.
Note: With all due respect, this is not to undermine the fact that the NSCDS officials work very hard day and night in their respective office to improve the lots of Nigerians. We see them every day performing their duties and improving the lives of Nigerians, in area otherwise neglected by other security operatives. I say kudos to your men Sir.
This is purely borne out of the need to improve the lot of the ordinary Nigerian.
Thank you Sir.
Presley Akhigbe @presleydoneji
Do not hesitate to leave your opinion in the comment section below.
To contact Abusidiqu.com for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org