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FG directs water-tight security around schools, other public facilities 

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

Following the abduction of over 300 schoolgirls in Zamfara State, the Federal Government has directed Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to ensure the safety of children everywhere, especially within the school environs.

The apex government further asked the Corps leadership to immediately develop a robust school protection scheme to secure the learning environment in order to prevent kidnappers and other suspected criminals from abducting students from their classes and dormitories across the country

Ditching out the directives on Monday in his office in Abuja when he decorated Ahmed Abubakar Audi as the new Commandant- General of the NSCDC, Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, asked NSCDC to continuously collaborate with other security agencies with a view to immediately restore peace and security across Nigeria particularly within the school environment.

Aregbesola, who expressed sadness over the incessant spate of violations and kidnappings in schools, described children as people that belong to the special category that needed to be protected.

According to him, they are innocent and at the same time vulnerable. They are as vulnerable to external circumstances as to their own wiles.

In his speech titled “Your moment to be a Hero”, the Minister reminded the new Commandant-General that he was mounting the saddle of this great organization at a very critical time in our dear nation with challenging security situations.

He, therefore, informed him that it is going to be rough but that, as a motivational speaker once wrote, it is great challenges that produce heroes and men of history and thus advised him that he should continue to navigate diligently and triumphantly taking cognisance of the rigorous selection process that brought him into office, so as to ensure that he delivers on the mandate of the NSCDC in line with the policy thrust of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration.

Aregbeslola further charged the leadership of the corps to develop a robust scheme that would not only check the menace in the schools but also ensure the protection of critical national assets, such as pipelines, electricity pylons, stations and cables, telecommunication mast, cables and installations.

“Another scheme, like the Agro Rangers, should also be developed to cover full agriculture and offer protection to all categories of farmers. Protecting crop farmers and pastoralists is a matter of national food security”, he added.

In his response, the new Commandant-General, NSCDC, Ahmed  Audi, assured that the Corps under his watch, would among others, improve on institutional wellness and also leverage proactive intelligence gathering in its operations.

Audi added that leveraging on these would assist to bring to the barest minimum the asymmetric war that was currently ongoing across the country.

He, meanwhile, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for giving him the opportunity to serve and commended his administration for its avowed commitment to the safety of lives and property.

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