The Commandant General of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Dr. Ahmed Abubakar Audi, mni, OFR, has condoled with officers and men, families of seven personnel, who were ambushed by bandits in Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State, during which seven lost their lives.
Addressing officers and men, as well as bereaved families at the NSCDC Kaduna Command Headquarters, when he personally, visited to pay condolences, the CG stated that the Corps had in the past lost officers in the line of duties, but not as much as compared to the Birnin-Gwari tragic incident.
Audi, who described the killing as colossal, however, charged other personnel not to be deterred by the ugly incident; instead, they should continue to put in their best for a more secured country.
“Death is inevitable, it is heart touching losing the personnel.
“Although, this is not the first time we are losing personnel, but it’s so painful that we lost seven personnel at a time.
“It is a great loss, that is why i am here personally, to encourage all of you, to continue to do your best and not give up,” he said.
The Corps helmsman hinted that he had initiated the process of payment of death benefits and other entitlements to the affected officers through the office of the Minister of Interior to ameliorate the pains of those they left behind.
He explained that the Corps had been settling burial benefits, entitlements, accident and group life Insurance policies to personnel as and when due.
He said that upon assumption of duty as CG about two years ago, backlog of salaries and arrears had been cleared with a few pending, which would soon be settled.
Continuing, the Commandant General, who was visibly emotional during his address, also delivered the message of the Minister of Interior.
He added, “the Minister sent his condolences, and directed me to inform you, that he is with you on this journey and would ensure that FG continues to support the Corps at all time.”
He later presented cheques of undisclosed amount of money to next of kins of the seven fallen heroes as a token of support pending the payment of their accrued benefits.
Furthermore, he announced the approval of one slot for each family as replacement of the slain officers by the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
“This is a service that has its personnel in mind. It is my vision to champion the course of promoting personnel’s welfare in the Corps.
“The minister has approved one slot each for you to replace your husbands.
“I have also directed the Kaduna State Commandant, Idris Yahaya, to liase with you on getting your details across to us in Abuja,” he informed.
Assistant Commandant General (ACG), Zone B, Muhammad Haruna, who received the CG in Kaduna, expressed appreciation on behalf of all the personnel from the Zone for his welfare policy since his assumption of office.
He commended the effort of the CG in lightening the burdens of the deceased family members left behind, stressing that the visit no doubt encouraged, motivated and gave succour to the injured and broken hearted within and outside the Corps.
In his vote of thanks, representative of the deceased families, Mallam Baba Ladan, thanked the Minister of Interior, CG, ACG Zone B, the Kaduna State Commandant and all officers and men nationwide for their prayers and for standing by the families during their period of grief.
The CG appreciated God for sparing the life of SCA Thomas Hassan, the only survivor of the attack, who was admitted in an undisclosed hospital following the attack but has since been discharged.
In order to encourage him and others, the CG announced his elevation to the rank of Inspector of Corps (IC) from Senior Corps Assistant (SCA) and immediately, decorated him with his new rank even as he charged him to teach others the manoeuvring tactics used to survive such dangerous attack in order to minimise casualties in case of similar confrontation in the future.
He re-iterated the commitment of the corps towards collaborating with other security agencies in dealing with hoodlums in the language they understood in line with Presidential directive.
Dr Audi commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his relentless effort towards providing relevant platforms to contain various security threats across the country.
Also present at the event were other agencies’ Service Commanders like the Commisioner of Police, Comptroller of Nigeria Immigration Service, Controller of Correctional service, 1Division Garrison Commander, Sector Commander, FRSC among others, who gave emotion-laden goodwill messages.