Human rights activist, Deji Adeyanju has condemned a bill proposed by lawmaker representing lseyin/ltesiwaju/ Kajola/lwajowa Federal Constituency in Oyo State at the House of Representatives, Shina Peller, seeking to scrap the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
In a statement on Sunday, Adeyanju also condemned a statement by the lawmaker that the NSCDC and police perform the same function, describing it as a miscalculated and laughable one.
He noted that Peller’s bill has passed first reading at the House of Representatives, describing it as ill-timed and one brought in bad faith.
According to him, rather than scrap the NSCDC, more avenues should be created for funding and training officers to enable them effectively perform their roles.
Adeyanju stated this particularly with reference to the recent upsurge in the menace of insecurity: kidnapping of school students by Boko Haram, bandits and other undesirable elements.
His statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to a bill proposed by Hon. Shina Peller, seeking to scrap the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). We also note that the bill has passed the first reading at the Nigerian House of Representatives.
“We strongly condemn this bill. It is ill timed and brought in bad faith, especially at a time when Nigeria is grappling with several security issues and there is even a louder call for the establishment of state policing, recognition of vigilante groups, and the formal recognition of the Peace Corps through an Act of the National Assembly.
“The argument that the Nigerian Police and the NSCDC perform the same function is misconceived and laughable. Beyond the general security functions, it is important to state that the NSCDC is charged with the specific role of protecting our pipelines and training private security guards.
“While the security of our pipelines can be tied directly to the security of our economy, as the bulk of our national income comes from oil production, the training and vetting of private security guards cannot also be jettisoned, especially at this time when individuals are taking proactive measures to protect themselves against kidnapping, banditry, and other vices.
“In any event, it is even ironic that Hon. Peller has proposed this bill at time the National Assembly is considering state policing in its constitutional amendment process.
“Rather than scrap the NSCDC, we should be calling for more funding and training for the agency, to enable them effectively perform their roles. It should be noted that there has been an upsurge in kidnapping of school students by Boko Haram, bandits and other undesirable elements. Rather than scrap the NSCDC, its officers should be posted across all the schools in the federation.
“Again, we reject the proposal by Hon. Peller to merge the NSCDC with the Nigerian Police. It is common knowledge that the Nigeria Police is one of the most corrupt agencies in the country. Accordingly, merging the NSCDC with the Nigerian police will do more harm than good to the nation and its security challenges.
“All over the word, there are several security agencies within a particular country, with different functions. For example, in the United States of America, there is the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Homeland Security and several others with myriad of functions. No one has called for the scrapping of the agencies.
“We therefore call on the National Assembly to reject this bill, while urging Hon. Peller to channel his energy towards more important issues bedevilling Nigeria.”