ROTIMI AGBOLUAJE reports that election security has been a recurrent and recurring challenge to all shareholders -- the umpire, political parties, citizens and security agencies. In the nation’s polity; given the fact that most of elections held in the country had been bedeviled by violence, killings, maiming and wanton destruction of lives and property.
In its bid to change the distasteful narrative, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Oyo State Command has declared that it had started ahead of nefarious actors of election violence and hooliganism.
In a chat with journalists at the Agodi Headquarters of the security agency, its State Commandant, Commandant John Oyedokun Adewoye, was unequivocal while disclosing some steps taken to ensure that the 2019 elections are violence-free.
Commandant Adewoye declared: “We have started even ahead of the politicians by organizing in-house trainings for our personnel on how to curb hooliganism before, during and after the election. By first week next of month I am sending 1,500 personnel to join the police in a joint training organized for the two agencies on how to police during the election”.
Making capacity building as his focal point to ensure a crime-free Oyo State, Commandant Adewoye has invested a lot in training and retraining his officers and men.
According to the security chief: “We trained and retrained over 1,500 personnel in arm-bearing and organized 17 different in-house trainings for my officers cutting across all our core mandates. Just last Thursday we’ve been able to train about 200 Peace ambassadors, peace mediators working in our Peace and Conflicts Resolution Unit”.
He disclosed that private guard operators were not left out in the trainings.
The Civil Defence boss also read riot act to the criminally-minded people, warning them that the state would not be comfortable for them to perpetuate their devilish acts.
On some of the strides made since his assumption of office, the commandant said: “We have been able to reduce the rate of criminality in the state, with the cooperation that exists among security agencies because from where I came the synergy is not as strong as what we have in Oyo State. Security agencies working together as a team makes us to be on the top of security challenges in the state. For the past two or three years the level of criminality in Ibadan has reduced drastically.
“We have generated close to two million naira from licences and renewal of licences from private guards to the Federal Government coffers.
“On disaster management, we’ve been able to rescue so many lives either on the road accidents or fire outbreak in conjunction with Fire Service to see that we protect lives and property.
“We’ve been to 26 councils to sensitize them on security hints. But the problem we have is many don’t see security as their job, security is everybody’s business. Security personnel being paid by Federal Government can’t do it alone. “We have been to all the senatorial districts of the state to make sure that we educate them and bring all stakeholders together to deliberate”.
On the agency’s relationship with the state government, Commandant Adewoye who described the relationship as robust had this to say:
“The governor has just been given a new name: Mr. Peace. He cherishes security more than any other things. That is why he set up a security taskforce: Operation Burst which has been going round to burst criminals out of the state and he is holding Security Council meeting regularly. No month that we have not met with him to discuss security issues affecting the state. Whenever we give him suggestions he is proactive in nature.