NSCDC reject Onitsha Vigilante branded vehicle
By Praise Necherem
The Anambra State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has protested the choice of colour for the branding of the vehicles donated for the Onitsha Ado Vigilante Network.
Indigenes of commercial city of the state had floated a security outfit known as Onitsha Ado Vigilante Network to check increasing wave of crime in the commercial city.
The corps said the colour conflicted with theirs and demanded immediate repainting of all the vehicles belonging to the security operatives to avoid clash of interest.
A statement by the state commandant, Comdt David Bille, wondered why the initiators of the security outfit could not have factored in the colour conflicts before unveiling the same colours to the public.
The statement read in part, “The attention of the Anambra State Command of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC has been drawn to the crested vehicles painted in Civil Defence Colours presented to Onitsha Ado Vigilante Network.
“The corps, while appreciating the Onitsha community for taking a bold step in complementing the functions of federal security agencies in the fight against crimes and criminality in the state, urges the community to as a matter of urgency effect a change of colours on the said vehicles to avoid clash of interest.
“The Commandant wonders why the initiators of the said vigilante network could not have known that white, red and black colours are being used by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, before unveiling the same colours to the Public.”
Meanwhile, the traditional ruler of Onitsha Kingdom, Obi Alfred Achebe, while unveiling the security outfit, said there was need to keep the security of the city, especially being a commercial hub.
The monarch also unveiled branded Toyota Sienna vehicles said to have been donated by good spirited individuals in the city for the fight against insecurity. He urged the people of the zone to step up security consciousness so as not to be caught unawares by the threatening terrorist herders that invaded the country and causing insecurity in Nigeria.
He also asked the security agents to up their game in securing the country to avoid people finding ways of securing themselves, regretting that Southeast has had enough of invasion of foreigners into their forests.
He said, “In South East our forests have been invaded by Fulani men who call themselves herdsmen, but we know that they are not herdsmen. We knew Fulani herdsmen, even when we were growing up, as people who live peacefully with the local community. But, there is a new introduction and movement which is now people from outside the country coming into Nigeria.
“They are coming and moving into our forests, kidnapping and killing our people. We have made representation to the security authorities and we expect them to act now. I know there is serious dialogue going on now. Our governors have to speak with one voice. It is now that action must be taken.
“If you are going from Amawbia in Awka, through that stretch to Nawgu and Enugu Agidi, it is very risky; people are kidnapped on daily basis. The traditional rulers of Nawgu and Enugu Agidi, have come to (traditional rulers’) council meetings to tell their stories.
“So, we call on security agents to rise up to their duties to protect the people. If, however, they cannot protect the people, ultimately the people will protect themselves and we do not want to get to that, because we are not law enforcement agents.”
Achebe, who doubles as chairman of Anambra State Council of Traditional Rulers, also called on the federal government to re-strategise in providing security for Nigerians, regretting that the whole country was facing security challenge, particularly in the South East forest.
Meanwhile, the chairman of Onitsha-North local government area, Patrick Aghadinuno Mba has dismissed as empty, allegations of Onitsha Community Vigilante duplicating the official vehicle colours of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
Mba, who was reacting to directives from the NSCDC, Anambra command to repaint their vehicles, maintained that the commandant was wrong to have levelled such allegations. He said there was no resemblance or colour crisis, whatsoever, explaining that the vehicle colours of the community vigilante service were red, white and yellow respectively while those of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps were only red and white.
The council boss said such misleading press releases should be disregarded because Onitsha local vigilante had no intentions of duplicating the services of the NSCDC.