By Michael Olugbode
The Minister of Interior, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, has said that the criminal element terrorising the country are just as ordinary and uniform like the rest of Nigerians, calling on security agencies to step up to the plate of addressing the security challenges pervading the nation.
Aregbesola, reading a speech titled: “Make A Big Difference” at the decoration of Deputy Controllers General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) and the Deputy Commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) with their new ranks in Abuja, said: “One of the greatest lessons of life is that you don’t have to be the president before you make a difference. Just excel and make the difference in your little corner of the world.
“Having risen through the system, to transliterate a local aphorism, you have, no doubt, been well cooked. I am of the firm opinion therefore that you know the enormous responsibilities of your office and you have been well prepared for the job.
“You are coming on board at a period of great national security challenge. Though you are paramilitary agencies, quite strangely, the public expects you to solve Nigeria’s security challenges. The Ministry of Interior is always on the mouth of commentators and analysts when the security situation in the country is being mentioned. This is to let you know the great expectations people have of you.”
According to him, “We have been in the throes of bandits, insurgents and other baddies, draining resources and psychic energy. Our agencies must rise to the plate. NSCDC in particular should maximise their grassroots penetration for intelligence gathering.
“The criminals live in our homes, offices, farms, bushes and forests. They roam our streets and engage in day-to-day activities with us. On the surface, they are just as ordinary and uniform like the rest of us.
“I will find it difficult to believe that it is possible to take such a large number of students through a reasonably long distance on open trucks and motorcycles without anyone seeing them along the way. It will be hard also to believe that some other Nigerians are not aware of their dens and the nefarious activities going on there as we speak.”
He said it has become imperative that the agents cultivate deep relationship with the people in communities so they can trust them with the vital information needed for securing the nation, adding that: “We are at a point where we cannot but make a big difference.”