National Security Adviser, Alhaji Sambo Dasuki, on Monday in Abuja warned Nigerians to be extra careful when hiring security personnel, saying such measures would circumvent the mistake of recruiting terrorists and people with criminal tendencies.
The NSA sounded the warning during a one-day workshop with the theme, ‘Importance of Security Awareness and Drills in Contemporary Nigeria’, which was jointly organised by his office, the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Department of Security Service.
Participants at the workshop were largely made up of religious, traditional and community leaders, who are expected to communicate the message to the people at the grass roots.
Dasuki, who was represented by Maj-Gen. Babatunde Samuel (retd.), said investigation had revealed that some of the security personnel patronised by several individuals, communities and organisations were in most cases unqualified people with questionable characters.
He said, “I also wish to warn you about the personnel you patronise in the course of improving security. You should be careful because those that have been vetted are found to have no fixed addresses or the requisite qualification or expenses that they claim to have.
“Some are even of questionable character; you must therefore check their antecedents before you patronise them. It is based on the imperative to make Nigerians security conscious that the Federal Government gave you (participants) the opportunity to become pioneers of the rejuvenated national security awareness programme.”
Dasuki said the Federal Government, through DSS, had undertaken vulnerability assessment of the ministries, departments and agencies to improve their security apparatus.
According to him, the Federal Government is doing its best to discharge its constitutional responsibilities by “putting adequate measures in place to detect and arrest the menace of terrorists, religious intelorance, armed robbery, kidnappings, pipeline vandalism, piracy, corruption and other related crimes that impact negatively on Nigeria image and economy.”
He added, “You should know that the Federal Government, through the DSS, has undertaken a robust vulnerability assessment of most MDAs in Abuja. This was subsequently followed up with improved access control by providing other vehicles inspection system, mobile detectors.
“Security inspection committees was also set up by various MDAs to ensure compliance with the security regulations as they affect the safety of government personnel, documents, facilities and structures.”
In his speech, the SGF, Senator Pius Anyim, explained that the workshop was borne out of the Federal Government’s desire to make most Nigerians security conscious and to establish the necessary condition for the actualisation of the transformation agenda.
Anyim, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary (Special Service Office, SGF), Mrs. Esther Gonda, said if every segment of the society played its role or contributed its quota well, Nigeria would be a better place.
He said, “It is important that the Government and other relevant stakeholders like you to do their best to improve security in the country. We must use our various levels of authority in the society to discourage sensational comments, corruption, provocative preaching, religious or ethnic intolerance, unpatriotic speeches, especially by politicians.”