Defence & Security

NSCDC trains personnel on civilian protection, disaster management

By Paul Michael

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), in a bid to boost the capacity of its personnel in Disaster and Crisis Management, has collaborated with the Centre for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) to train over 100 men.

The staff, who were drawn from the Corps’ National Headquarters and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command, were trained to properly position the agency towards response to civilians in times of emergency.

The Commandant General of the Corps, Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi, said the programme is aimed at assisting participants in learning more techniques and acquiring new orientation, Director of Public Relations, DCC Olusola Odumosu, stated in a statement on Thursday.

The programme with the theme “Protection of Civilian and Civilian Harm Mitigation” will further enhance the capacity of personnel to know how to manage civilians in reducing casualties when there is a crisis.

Dr Audi, who was represented by the Deputy Commandant General in charge of Crisis and Disaster Management, Dr Nnamdi Nwinyi, cited the roles played by the Corps by educating civilians on how to respond to bombings and other emergencies during the civil war in 1967, when the Corps was established as a voluntary agency then known as Lagos Civil Defence Committee.

While stressing the need to extend the training to State Commands, tasked participants to put the knowledge acquired into use. He said the Corps is known for its deployment of a soft approach while relating with the civil populace and emphasised that the training was timely, apt and germane to the execution of the Corps’ mandate.

On his part, the Country Director, CIVIC-Nigeria, Benson Olugbuo, appreciated the NSCDC for its ability, energy, ideas, expertise and responsibility of protecting national critical assets and infrastructure.

Olugbuo explained that CIVIC-Nigeria was established in 2016 and that since then it has worked mainly in Borno State, Abuja and Kaduna State.

He said CIVIC envisions a world in which no civilian is harmed in conflict and supports communities affected by conflict in their quest for protection.

“We also strengthen the resolve and capacity of armed actors as well as international and multilateral institutions to prevent and respond to civilian harm.

“We believe that civilians are not ‘collateral damage’ and civilian harm is not an unavoidable consequence of conflict — civilian harm can and must be prevented.

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“We believe that civilians are not merely victims of conflict but have agency and influence in ensuring that their protection needs are met,” he added.

He declared that the workshop was to enhance the capability of NSCDC to take every feasible precaution to mitigate civilian harm, and in the event of accidental and or incidental harm, encourage the practice of making amends.

“The training is to enlighten participants on the principles of protecting civilians and civilians harm mitigation, enhancing participants’ understanding of the strategic value of protecting civilians.

“It is aimed at achieving security objectives in asymmetric operations while at the same time introducing the concept of civilian harm tracking and its benefits to security forces”, the Country Director said.

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