The U.S says it will train and provide technical support to personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to enhance its operations in the counter-terrorism campaign.
Mr Michael Bonner, the Senior Police Advisor U.S. Embassy, stated this when he visited Ibrahim Abdullahi, the state NSCDC Commandant in Maiduguri on Tuesday.
Bonner said that such support had become necessary in view of NSCDC’s contributions in promoting national security, especially in the protection of critical infrastructure.
“Absolutely, when you talk about safety and security in Nigeria, the primary concern is the North-East, and the state that needs attention the most right now is Borno.
“It is a great opportunity to meet NSCDC officers and hear from you how the U.S can assist you?
“We are also planning to train the NSCDC personnel on post-bomb blast investigation techniques.
“We have already put in place some courses that will run strictly for the NSCDC on critical infrastructure protection. “The course is designed to train about 25 officers of the NSCDC who will also train other officers of the command.’’
According to him, we are also looking at providing a joint training for the NSCDC and the Nigeria Police Force.
“The training includes counter-terrorism techniques to enable you to identify potential threats and protect people in soft targets as well as prevent terror attack,” he said.
According to Bonner, the NSCDC plays a vital role in community policing, in view of its closer ties with people in the society.
He said that the U.S. Embassy would liaise with some humanitarian organisations to assist the command improve its operations.
Responding, Abdullahi said the command had recorded significant success toward providing civic protection in the state.
He recalled that at the beginning of the Boko Haram insurgency, personnel of the command were not allowed to carry arms, noting that the trend did not deter them from their duties.
The NSCDC commandant said that the command had recorded successes in various operations against the insurgents in the state.
“We have arrested a lot of high profiled Boko Haram insurgents, their food and fuel suppliers, we also intercepted some cow rustlers and recovered a spiritual Book which the insurgents used to hypnotise new recruits,” he said.
According to him, the command has deployed personnel to some of the liberated areas and University of Maiduguri.
Abdullahi added that the command had also resolved more than 15,000 cases under its dispute resolution exercise.
The commandant listed lack of patrol vehicles and obsolete equipment as some of the challenges being faced by the command.
He stressed the need to rehabilitate offices of the command vandalised by the Boko Haram insurgents in the 27 local government areas of the state.