Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday said that he had a smooth working relationship with Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, over other agencies of government in charge of security of the nation while in office.
The former president, who stated this yesterday, said he received lesser complaints of NSCDC than other security operatives in the country.
While receiving the former Commandant General of the corps, Dr Ade Abolurin who was pulled out of service in Abuja on Monday, Obasanjo called on the authorities of the corps not to spare bad eggs in the system.
Obasanjo said he was convinced to institutionalise NSCDC because of the role it played when it was an ordinary voluntary organisation.
He said the sacrifice made by the operatives even when it was not recognised by the government was a height of patriotism, dedication and service to fatherland.
The former president particularly showered encomiums on the corps for the role it played at curbing oil bunkering which he said was an outright stealing of government resources.
He said: “This organisation became institutionalised by virtue of the good work the organisation was doing as a voluntary organisation for many years.
“One of the things that I had to confront in my tenure as president of Nigeria was pipeline vandalisation, holdup, and crude oil stealing, that stealing is what they called bunkering, there is nothing like bunkering, it is outright stealing.
“We used all the available agencies and resources and your organisation as a voluntary organisation, unpaid, unremunerated, unrecognised, uninstitutionalised, was doing great job without being armed and without being equiped and that means the height of commitment, nationalism, patriotism and service to fatherland and service to humanity, of course, I didn’t hesitate to move ahead on an act of parliament to be able to organise you into what you are today.
“Of course, there is no human institution that is ever perfect but I can say when I was the president, I did not get as much complaints about the misbehaviour of your organisation as I get about the misbehaviour of other agencies of government that are doing similar security work for the nation and that is something that you should be proud of as an organisation.
“I am not saying there is absolutely no bad eggs among you and you know that and for those of you who will continue to carry the mantle, do not spare any bad egg among you.”
Obasanjo called on the new management of the corps to sustain the values and virtues the organisation is known for
“You, Ade Abolurin, you did your best; no human being is perfect and if there is any imperfection that I noted, it’s probably your enthusiasm to wanting to get things right. You’ve gone, you’ve seen, and I think you have conquered and you’re welcome home.
The former Commandant General who had earlier visited Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State in his Oke-Mosan office thanked the former President for institutionalising the Corps.
According to him, the organisation which was founded in 1957 was left as an orphan until it was rescued by Obasanjo’s administration in 2003.