Operatives of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have been urged to be firm, but civil in carrying out their responsibilities.
This is contained in a statement issued and signed on Thursday by Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations in the ministry, Mr Afonja Ajibola.
He said the minister gave the advice at the inauguration of 93 operational vehicles for the NSCDC in Abuja.
Aregbeşola said that their presence at all times should ooze out the power and authority of the Federal Government to deter criminals.
“The ministry under my watch remains unwavering, resolute and committed towards strengthening the capacity and capabilities of this organ of government to effectively deliver on its mandate.
“Today’s occasion, therefore, is in pursuant of the radical and proactive steps by the federal government towards addressing the challenge of insecurity in the country.
“This is as we take steady and bold steps to degrade the activities of some criminally minded unpatriotic individuals and saboteurs, whose main agenda is to dwarf enormous achievements government has recorded in every sphere of national development.
“As we are all aware, there are challenges of vandalism of critical national assets, crude oil theft, banditry, kidnapping, ritual killings, insurgency, among others that have become a cankerworm that must be eliminated.
“The incessant attacks on our critical national assets and infrastructure in particular has become a grievous wound dangerously bleeding the nation’s economy, which must be effectively addressed.“
He added that the country would not continue to watch innocent Nigerians being constantly harassed, intimidated and cowed while precious lives were being terminated prematurely.
“We cannot also pretend to be unaware of the incessant vandalism and theft of our valuable national assets and infrastructure and our territory turned to a theatre of bloodshed and anguish by bandits.
“We have routed these gangs and individuals in all their bases and put them on the run. We shall not relent but remain absolutely committed towards extirpating them completely from our land,” the minister said.
Aregbesola advised the NSCDC to issue the vehicles to the best personnel that would conscientiously and effectively use and maintain them.
He said that most government agencies mishandle and neglect official vehicles and ultimately turn them into disuse within a short period, adding that henceforth such would not be accepted.
The minister assured them of federal government’s continued encouragement and support through adequate training and provision of modern operational equipment, to further strengthen the corps’ capacity.
This, he said, would go a long way in enhancing professionalism and repositioning the service to effectively contribute to national security and maintain its pride of place in national security architecture.
“You are, therefore, expected to reciprocate the federal government’s gesture by remaining steadfast and dedicated to the effective discharge of your core mandate.
“I enjoin you also to further improve on the robust collaboration and synergy with the military and other sister security agencies in providing security for the lives and property of Nigerians.”
Aregbesola commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his support and kind disposition to the ministry and its agencies in discharging their statutory responsibilities.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Shuaib Belgore, said that the security challenges faced by Nigeria necessitated the inauguration of the operational vehicles, to enhance the capacity of the officers.
He, therefore, commended the minister’s doggedness in the acquisition of the vehicles, which would strengthen the operational capacity of the corps.