THE Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, arrested 50 suspected militants in Rivers State and destroyed 15 illegal refineries in different locations in the Niger Delta region. Abdullahi Muhammadu, commandant-general, NSCDC, disclosed that the suspects were arrested on Wednesday, September 14, during a special operation by NSCDC operatives in the state.
He told journalists at a press briefing on Thursday, September 15, in Abuja, that the suspects were being screened and profiled as part of investigations to know their level of culpability in pipeline bombings and vandalism in the Niger Delta region. He stated that those indicted by investigators would be arraigned in court and prosecuted for economic sabotage.
“As of yesterday (Wednesday), 15 illegal refineries were destroyed and 50 militants were arrested, but we need to screen them to know those who would be charged to court because there are many of them; 50 of them, just in a night,” he stated.
Muhammadu said the mandate of the corps had been extended beyond pipeline and critical infrastructure protection to providing security for dams, agro-allied business, farms and the proposed ranches across the country. He stated that 2,000 NSCDC operatives were participating in counter-insurgency operations in the North-East, noting that additional 2,700 others were undergoing training for deployment to the region. “Before the end of October, I will send them down (to the North-East),” he added.
The commandant genera noted that he had received requests for deployment of NSCDC personnel from various parastatals, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Ministry of Agriculture, National Agricultural Seed Council and Ministry of Water Resources, among others.
He said Abdulrahman Dambazau, minister of interior, had approached the presidency for permission to recruit additional personnel into the corps so it can discharge its responsibility more effectively. He complained about inadequate financial allocation and pleaded with the federal government to allow security agencies to maintain an account for security operation “to make our jobs easier.”
— Sep 26, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT