By Nathan Nwakamma
Yenagoa – Mrs Christiana Abiakam, the new Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Bayelsa, on Wednesday pledged to intensify the fight against oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the area.
Abiakam made the pledge in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yenagoa.
She said that the command was committed to its core mandate of protecting critical national assets, adding that attacks on oil installations had been significantly reduced in the past two years.
Abiakam also announced plans by the command to further strengthen its Anti-Vandals Unit to become result-oriented.
“My predecessors kept faith with the mandate of the NSCDC. My wish is to build on their efforts and achievements.
“From the feedback I am getting from oil firms, oil thefts have reduced considerably in the past two years.
“Under my watch, the perpetrators of oil theft and vandalism on oil infrastructure will either turn away from criminality or leave the Bayelsa environment.
“I will take the welfare of troops very seriously and I will ensure prompt payment all allowances to boost morale and discourage compromise, and if their welfare is taken care of, we shall not condone any unprofessional act.
She said that she had held a meeting the men and officers, where she warned that aiding and abetting criminals would not be tolerated.
The commandant said that such acts would be decisively dealt with in line with the operational guidelines of the corps.
“Our intelligence gathering shall be the driving force in our operations and we shall leverage on the existing robust relations with sister security agencies to share intelligence in order to achieve lower crime incidents in the command.
On her priority areas, she said top on the list was to enlist the support of oil bearing communities.
“I wish to liaise with host communities and their opinion leaders to sensitise them to the ills and dangers of the economic crime of oil theft.”
The commandant said that the NSCDC would henceforth, ensure a thorough investigation of cases to ensure that suspects arrested were diligently prosecuted to secure convictions.