The Civil Defence began in Nigeria on this day May 16th 1967
The Commandant General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu has expressed his happiness and commendation on the performance and achievements of the Corps since its establishment in Nigeria in May 16th 1967.
Gana said, an occasion like this is a time for thanks and a time for reflection — thanks to the countless individuals who made the last 53 years so wonderful, so rewarding and so memorable for the Corps and our great nation Nigeria.
The Civil Defence was formed in Nigeria on May 16, 1967 during the Nigerian Civil War within the then Federal Capital Territory of Lagos for the purpose of sensitization and protection of the civil populace. It was then known as Lagos Civil Defence Committee. An offshoot of the International Civil Defence Organisation (ICDO). The Corps played a crucial role in bringing succour to the Nigerian civilian population during the civil war.
It later metamorphosed into the present day Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in 1970. On inception, the Corps had the objective of carrying out some educational and enlightenment campaigns in and around the Federal Capital of Lagos to sensitize members of the civil populace on enemy attacks and how to save themselves from danger as most Nigerians living in and around Lagos territory then had little or no knowledge about war and its implications. Members of the Corps deemed it important to educate through electronic and print media on how to guide themselves during air raids, bomb attacks, identify bombs and how to dive into trenches during bomb blast.
In 1984, the Corps was transformed into a National security outfit and in 1988, there was a major re-structuring of the Corps that led to the establishment of Commands throughout the Federation, including Abuja, and the addition of special functions by the Federal Government.
On 28 June 2003, an Act to give statutory backing to the NSCDC passed by the National Assembly was signed into law by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, the former president and Commander in chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
After the bill establishing it was passed and signed the Corps have been blazing some trails and shinning like a million stars as a result. They have been a veritable tool in the fight against economic sabotage by putting up spirited fights against both water and oil pipeline vandalization.
On the internal security, the NSCDC have shown competence and capability in instilling peace and security of lives and properties in both private and national events. In this regard, accolades have gone to the Corps for the devotion, resolve and efficiency its members employ efficiently in monitoring elections and guarding against rigging and electoral violence.
The Corps has been commended by state governors and several others over security measures taken to protect farmers and herders in the country through its newly established team of agro rangers.
It is interesting to note also that one of the major responsibilities apportioned to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps by the Federal Government is to manage disaster. It is the duty of the Corps to assist in the maintenance of peace and order and also in the protection and the rescuing of the civil populace during the period of emergency; to warn the civilian population ahead of danger; to evacuate civilian population from danger areas; carry out rescue operations and control blatant occasions; assist in the provision of emergency medical services; among other roles.
Even in a disaster situation like Covid 19, the role of the Corps can never be overemphasized, the Corps, it has been observed, has not failed in terms of quick response to accident victims, victims of fire outbreaks and collapsed buildings, casualties in riots and even victims of the several ethno-religious crises in the country.
“Under Nigeria’s NSCDC Amendment Act 2007, Act No. 6, NSCDC was vested the power to “arrest with or without a warrant, detain, investigate and institute legal proceedings by or in the name of the Attorney-General of the Federation in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria against any person who is reasonably suspected to have committed any offence” To exercise this function effectively, the Act also granted the body power to “maintain an armed squad which shall be entitled to bear arms and deployed by the office of the Commandant-General.”
The labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain, we must work harder to maintain our integrity and dedication. Today, we celebrate the Corps; officers and men, our values and our progression over the years, we must not relent in our efforts for peaceful Nigeria; Gana stated.
On this day, words alone cannot express my appreciation for the dedication and sacrifice of the men and officers of the Corps, I salute you for your hard work, ruggedness and selfless service, I can assured you, Nigerians and government are proud of you.
I therefore dedicated this day to honour the sacrifices of our heroic and gallant defenders, their spirit of patriotism, the blood and toil they shed so we may live in peace and safety. God bless the men and officers of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and God bless Federal Republic of Nigeria.