By Omeiza Ajayi – Abuja
As part of efforts to promote its Safe School Initiative and provide full-proof security for schools, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps NSCDC has commissioned an all-female squad after four weeks of intensive and rigorous training at the NSCDC Training College, Katsina.
Director, Public Relations at the national headquarters of the NSCDC in Abuja, DCC Olusola Odumosu disclosed this in a statement issued Friday in Abuja.
At the passing out parade in Katsina, Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola commended the leadership of the Corps for taking the lead in establishing a Female Squad as part of strategies to address present security challenges confronting the nation.
The minister who expressed delight over the initiative said the move will no doubt add value to the security architecture of the country, while at the same time enhancing the operational capacity and efficiency of the Corps.
Speaking on the significance of women in the fight against terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, and other forms of insecurity, Aregbesola reiterated that since women account for more than half of the nation’s population, it is apt to include them in all aspects of nation-building as studies have shown that women are more likely to attract the cooperation, confidence, and trust of the citizens than their male counterparts.
He maintained that the spike insecurity challenges in the country occasioned by the activities of Boko Haram insurgency, armed banditry, robbery, kidnappings, farmers/herders clashes among others necessitated the clamour for security agencies to redouble their efforts by strategizing to provide a safe and secure environment, where meaningful development can thrive.
Aregbesola urged the newly established Female Squad to exhibit a high level of discipline, focus, vigilance, and mental alertness in discharging their responsibilities while calling on the citizens to provide operatives with actionable intelligence that will assist in finding a lasting solution to the problem of incessant kidnapping of school children for ransom.
Earlier, Commandant General of the NSCDC, Dr Ahmed Audi explained that the female squad was a child of necessity, borne out of the need to effectively curtail the recent upsurge of insecurity and to pro-actively engage bandits and kidnappers of school children as directed by the Federal Government on the implementation of the safe school initiative by the Corps.
Dr Audi said the frequency of attacks on schools by bandits who indulge in the kidnapping of students for ransom has made it imperative to focus attention on intensifying security within and around vulnerable schools’ environments across the country.
“This is a proactive step aimed at ensuring the safety of school children and restoring the confidence of students, parents, teachers and the host communities,” he said.
According to Audi, the corps has concluded a vulnerability survey on all schools in the country to collate data with a view to identifying the gaps in the existing security arrangement for schools in Nigeria and to give the corps needed clues on necessary strategies to adopt in enhancing safety in the nation’s schools, especially those that are susceptible to attacks.
The CG congratulated members of the Female Squad for their outstanding performances and show of commitment in the last four weeks of intensive training.
The CG thanked the Honourable Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola who has provided the Corps with the support and assistance needed to reposition the Corps to effectively deliver on its mandate.
“I assure you that the Corps under my leadership is determined more than ever to effectively curtail and checkmate the current security challenges confronting us as a nation so that Nigerians can sleep with their two eyes closed,” Audi stated.