By Omeiza Ajayi
Following widespread unrest in the wake of #EndSARS agitations in many parts of the country, Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps NSCDC, Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu, has “declared emergency on all critical infrastructure and national assets in the country”.
Accordingly, he has directed all state commandants to immediately reinforce deployment of personnel in and around all strategic critical infrastructure and national assets located in their states to forestall any act of vandalism, arson or destruction by miscreants who may capitalize on the ongoing protest in most parts of the country to perpetrate their sinister motives.
Spokesman of the Corps, Emmanuel Okeh in a statement on Wednesday said the CG gave the directive at the Corps National headquarters, Abuja, while briefing on the current security situation in the country, with emphasis on the ongoing protest by the youths in different parts of the nation.
He stressed that the turn of event has called for more vigilance around critical national assets and infrastructure, which has become endangered species at this critical period and as easy target for hoodlums seeking to cause havoc and sabotage the economy. “This must not be allowed to happen because it is not in the interest of anybody at all to destroy our collective wealth” CG says.
He noted as vital to the Corps, the mandate of protecting critical national assets and infrastructure of government, such as petroleum and gas pipelines, communication masts, roads, bridges, railways, to mention but a few and instructed that this role should not be taken for granted, as all government investments are critical to the survival of the country and therefore must be protected at all cost.
He appealed to the citizens, especially the youths to remain law abiding even in their demands for reform in some sectors in the country and advised them to go about their legitimate plea without taking the law into their hands.
Gana revealed that reports at his disposal expose some criminals in the guise of protesters planning to attack some major government assets in some parts of the country.
He therefore charged all state commandants to take this assignment seriously by issuing a standing order to immediately beef up security around all government assets in their respective states through deployment of more men to man these infrastructure and assets and provide twenty-four hour security and surveillance to prevent destruction and sabotage.
He reminded personnel “to exercise high level of professionalism and many restraints as they work alongside other security agencies in restoring peace in the country; adding that, they should continue to remain civil in dealing with the public and warned against accidental discharge or forceful suppression of peaceful protesters.
“The CG also appealed to our teaming youth to give peace a chance and toe the path of dialogue to resolve this matter. He noted that there is no better time than now to stand down on the protest especially when it has become obvious that hoodlums and criminals have hijacked the protest.
“He further reassured the general public of their safety and security as they go about their legitimate business. He also appealed for continuous partnership with the corps by giving relevant and timely information that can assist in fighting crime and criminality in the society and most especially at this time in our nation’s history”, the statement added.