No fewer than 49 young men and women have been recruited by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to aid its fight against oil thieves and illegal bunkers in Rivers State.
The NSCDC Zonal Commandant, Zone L, James Bassey, disclosed this on Tuesday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Bassy spoke at the formal Passing Out Parade of Batch 2019 intake trained at NSCDC Command Headquarters in Port Harcourt.
He said the trainees underwent rigorous physical and mental training for three months to prepare them for internal security operations in Rivers State and environ.
He said: “The trainees have been adequately groomed in basic regimentation, team work and self discipline for three months.
“Rivers State is very sensitive to NSCDC operations, especially as there are several illegal activities going on that are inimical to the economy of the country.
“Consequently, the new intakes that are now part of the nation’s security system will play important roles in delivering our core mandate of defending the civilian populace.”
Bassey said the Federal Government was passionate about ending illegal bunkering and refining of petroleum products by oil thieves in the country.
He told the newly-recruited officers that henceforth their allegiance was to President Muhammadu Buhari and the people of Nigeria.
He added: “So, the whole country depends on you (recruits) to protect the nation’s critical assets and infrastructure, which you cannot let them down.
“Civilians come first because without them, we will not have this (NSCDC) job.
“Therefore, the era of harassing, molesting and show of force on civilians are over.”
Also speaking, NSCDC Commandant in Rivers State, Michael Ogar, said the corps was currently being transformed to a world class organisation committed to safeguarding all critical national assets.
According to him, the NSCDC Commandant General, Dr. Ahmed Audi, has made training and re-training of officers and men very essential to achieving the corps constitutional mandate.
Ogar said: “This has automatically enhanced the personnel’s capacity and effectiveness in carrying out their functions.
“So, after enduring three months of regimentation and discipline inculcated by drill instructors, the intakes would be deployed to various offices for internship training.”
The Commandant said the newly-recruited personnel would also be posted to different NSCDC training colleges across the country to build capacity.