The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) says its personnel are more dedicated than ever to ensure citizens and the country at large, are adequately secured for a free, fair and transparent 2023 general elections.
There have been reports that operatives of the Corps plan to boycott 2023 election coverage, due to outstanding allowances for 2022 Osun and Ekiti election coverage.
But in a statement by the Director, Public Relations of the NSCDC, DCC Olusola Odumosu on Thursday, the Corps debunked the speculations, saying thousands of NSCDC personnel will be deployed to every nook and cranny, critical national infrastructures not exempting the protection of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), its staff and electoral materials, all in a bid to ensure a peaceful election.
While acknowledging that personnel of the Corps that took part in the Ekiti and Osun state governorship elections in 2022 are yet to receive their allowances, Odumosu said the management of NSCDC has taken bold steps in ensuring the allowances are paid before the presidential election.
He further revealed that the Federal Government recently released the Osun election allowances, which he said is in the process of disbursement to operatives who participated in the election duty, adding that it was also promised that the allowances for Ekiti election is in the process of release to the Corps.
He insisted that the recently released fund was due to the commitment and passion of the Commandant General, Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi, to ensure that staff welfare is not tampered with.
The Corps spokesperson said; “Worried by the initial delay, Dr Audi, set up an action committee, headed by the Director of Finance and Accounts (DFA), Mrs Comfort Danladi, to make necessary follow-ups with the Federal Ministry of Finance in ensuring the release of the funds.
“The cooperation received from the Ministry of finance in respect of the payment of the election allowances prompted the assurances by the Corps’ management to personnel that the process had begun, hence, the need to sue for more patience at that time.
“It is worthy of note that, the CG is very passionate about the welfare of personnel and would not fold his arms and allow personnel to groan in anguish, pain or very low morale in the course of carrying out their duties especially in the forthcoming general elections.”
He urged the concerned personnel to exercise more patience as the payment process cannot be completed in one day.
Odumosu advised those attempting to cause confusion in the Corps not to waste their time and efforts as it will be an exercise in futility.
“The Corps is a professional body and a regimented organisation with well trained and highly disciplined personnel that have full understanding of paramilitary doctrines and public service rules, and would not be cajoled into engaging in acts of indiscipline or sabotage against the nation.
“Personnel of the Corps are educated and enlightened enough to understand that allowances are only added incentives to salaries and not a right, and that sometimes, bureaucratic bottlenecks can be responsible for such delays.
“Dr Audi believed in the mantra which says “give unto ceasar what is caesar’s,” therefore, personnel are urged not to lose faith in the Corps’ leadership, nor allow disgruntled elements within or outside the organisation to mislead or hoodwink them into taking wrong actions that could jeopardise their careers.
“The Ministry of Finance can be reached for more details about the circumstances surrounding the delay in payment of the election allowances,” he concluded.