By Temitope Adedeji, Akure
The hunter has now become the hunted in the face of impunity and injustice in the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), under the control of Federal Ministry Of Interior. The corps is saddled with so many responsibilities, including defending and protecting our natural heritage. The defence was fully brought to limelight by the then president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. The retired general did so in 2004, to mainly provide jobs for the teeming unemployed youths in the country, the dream was actually actualised. Today, the corps has overwhelming Nigerians that are really doing well but unfortunately, series of impunity, corruption and injustice has taken over the security agency.
One may be shocked that, today, well over 80% of the personnel submitted fake certificate at their various point of entries at one time or the other.
Interestingly, it would be recalled that in 2003, the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs, Abuja, immigration and prison service board constituted a screening committee, which did a wonderful job during the screening of the volunteers of Civil Defence Corps, and some of the names among the total number presented by each state were done according to each state wherever you may be doing your voluntary services and your name will appear in your state.
Numbers in the list of each state never exceeded 300. Then it was believed to be perfectly done and the officers were ranked according to the certificate presented. That was the first batch of 2004. The second batch came out in 2005, by this year, it was obvious that people lobbied and pay handsomely for ranks the did not merit. Some came in through back doors in 2006/ 2007 and they were tagged VIPs. Meanwhile, the first batch of 2004, were given appointment letters dated 12/12/2005, which they were even paid arrears, the impunity and fraud in the corps started immediately.
By this time, both the senior and the junior staff of the board in charge became job racketeers and rank hawkers. The appointment letters were placed on sales like a fairly used car at a stand with ” buy me” sticker placed on it. These acts of fraud and falsification of certificate called for Verification in 2008. The verification exercise was presided over by Dr. Olivo, who chaired the committee in the board. Olivo, an incorruptible personality, an honest man with great integrity handled the cleaning exercise but to some extent, he was almost frustrated.
The results was released in 2011, that was how proper letters of placement were issued to all the NSCDC officers. Alteration suddenly sprang up from ” oga at the top then” who controlled the affairs of the corps over the successful job done by the Olivo committee in collaboration with the office of the then Minister, and the board. Dr. Olivo in his wisdom, used the certificate at the point of entry where all in inspectorate cadre and men who had bribed their ways in, fell into the category and were prevented again from showing a ” red card” out of field.
Olivo again in his widest gift of freedom, used secondary school leaving SSCE certificate , Ordinary National Diploma, Grade 2, submitted at point of entry, mostly of 1988/1994 to 1990 and then were placed at most level 12 then because of the certificate submitted which catapulted to the rank of Deputy Commandant of Corps (DCC) some to ACG and some to( ACC) after they have acquired their degree in 1998,1999 even up to 2008.
However, those with degree certificate as at 1990,91, 92 upward as point of entry were dramatically overtaken in the new ranking.
Authoritatively, fake certificates are now littering the corps registry ranging from NCE, HND, OND even degree which they (the corps personnel) rob hands of benefactors with purchasing power depending on the rank desire. Many can’t prove to have been issued by the institutions they claim to have graduated. While many with genuine certificate who do not have money to give are in a static position.
Like earlier said, 80% of the corps members are having one fake certificate or the other. While the remaining 20% who only believe in hard work an diligence suffer and serve under junior who never posses genuine certificate. Those that were recruited in 2004, in the rank of ACC, even upon several promotion examinations, are still not promoted till now. While some through godfatherism, enjoyed double promotions.
Many allies of commandants, family members, woman friends, mistresses who are yet to complete their part- time courses are given lateral conversion. It was so shocking that, promotion examination conducted in 2015, up till today, nobody has been promoted. The hope of many of these patriotic Nigerians who have been waiting in vain since 2004,2005, may be dashed even when those that came many years after them had and have been promoted it will interest you again that the Olivo verification has been given unbefitting burial. We pray and believe that the buried Olivo verification will be exhumed so as to give room for fairness and equity and put an end to impunity in our system.
No fewer than 48 commandants were recently promoted without regards to quota of the federal character. Some States get 10 commandants, some 8, and some 1.The worst of it is Ekiti, one Commandant claimed to be an indigene while he is not, while one is not qualified at all.