Editor's note: Public affairs commentator, Muhammadu Labo, writes on the giant strides of Abdullahi Muhammadu Gana as the Commandant General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) with emphasis on why political considerations should not trump merit when appointing Nigerians in sensitive positions.
One cannot overemphasise the importance of security in any setting you find humans, properties, and resources of any kind, hence the major responsibility of the government is the provision of security for the protection of lives and properties.
With the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) established in 2003 to further act as a catalyst for the advancement of security apparatus in Nigeria, the agency’s contributions to the security system in Nigeria can be simply described as super useful, to say the least, as they are tasked with achieving the security mandate of the government to the citizens at all cost.
The determining factor of leading these security agencies in any society shall be dictated meritoriously, and the NSCDC is not an exception. This must include acquiring the technical know-how of the job and executing it satisfactorily for absolute security to the citizens.
Politics can be played in all angles of governance for the benefit of democracy but not with security, if the security of a nation is compromised and toyed with, then no meaningful progress can be achieved. Peace and security are the bedrock of social, economic, and indeed political success of any advanced nation in the world.
In as much as it is said that there is some bit of politics in all that we do, either in the family, workplace, and life in general, security has also been an exception as to where politics should be played.
The NSCDC has had leaders from different backgrounds performing at different levels and capacities to the service of the fatherland. The history of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) can never be complete without the mention of Abdullahi Muhammadu Gana, the present Commandant General of NSCDC, who assumed office on 17th July 2015 as appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR).
One cannot deny the apparent fact that the leadership style of Abdullahi Muhammadu Gana is one that has clearly shown that sincerity of purpose and a strong will to perform can be the difference between having your head above water level and having it below water level. His reforms to the system have been unarguable. Sadly, nepotism and high-level impunity have been an ugly part of the Nigerian system as a whole has also found its way into the recruitment system of the NSCDC in the time past. With a staff database that has over 4,500 persons from one section of the country, albeit from Ogun state alone, while 1,500 to the entire north, one can only simply perceive that all is not in the right perspective as per the recruitment system in the NSCDC, it is indeed safe to describe it as national injustice.
In an attempt to ensure justice and equity in the recruitment scheme of the NSCDC by Abdullahi Muhammadu Gana, some ethnic jingoists at the higher leadership level with specific mention to the office of the minister of interior did not find the patriotic acts of Abdullahi Muhammadu Gana comfortable.
Nigeria as a nation cannot afford to use sensitive key security positions as a channel to show political strength, performance and performance alone shall be the basic criteria for appraisal of critical officeholders.
In a bid to have a purposeful and fair recruitment process in the NSCDC we must also all condemn the centralization of aptitude tests for applicants. Travelling to another state for an aptitude test is another form of disfranchising many Nigerians as very many applicants cannot afford transport fares to travel let alone accommodate and cater for themselves.
Putting into consideration the key performance indicators of Abdullahi Muhammadu Gana, it is, therefore, safe to say that the man is an achiever and a performer, who can only find room for improvement if given the opportunity. His positive reforms in NSCDC sure deserves a chance to consolidate the giant strides he has initiated. A stitch in time saves nine!
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