It was a sorrowful sight yesterday at the National Headquarters of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) as mourners wiped back tears at an inter- religious prayer session held in honour of the 11 gallant officers and men of the Corps who died on Tuesday in Kaduna and Abuja respectively.
While seven of the demised officers who were attached to the Kaduna State Ministry of Mines were ambushed and killed by bandits while on official duty at a mining site in Birnin Gwari LGA of Kaduna State, the remaining four attached to the national headquarters, Sauka, Abuja, were said to have died in a ghastly car accident on the same day after the close of work.
LEADERSHIP correspondent who visited the corps national headquarters during an inter- religious prayer organised for the repose of the souls of the demised heroes, reports that the Civil Defence family who mostly wore black were devastated as colleagues and friends of the departed officers wailed and cried profusely.
The event was attended by dignitaries, top management team of the Corps, led by the CG , DCGs, ACGs zonal and state commandants and other rank and file.
Earlier, the director public relations of the NSCDC , DCC Olusola Odumosu who confirmed the devastating news in a statement said, in all, twelve security personnel ( 7 Civil Defenders) were killed on Monday January 9, 2023, at about 10.00hrs at the Kuriga mining site in Birnin Gwari LGA of Kaduna State.
According to Odumosu, the bandits took away the rifles of the slain security personnel, adding that their bodies have been recovered and deposited at the Barau Dikko Hospital Kaduna.
The corps’ commandant-general, Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi, who was still in shock about what he described as a very unfortunate incident and a big loss to the Corps, requested Nigerians to rise up in prayer against the continuous ambush, attacks and killings of security personnel.
Audi who called the attack a “cruel terrorist act” and a “grave offence to God” wept profusely while praying for the bereaved families who he said will suffer the blow of the attack the most.
He said, “Is it not a serious sin to take another life? Of innocent people, peoples children, fathers and husbands? Our silence, our prayers, our presence in this sacred place is a sign of our condemnation of the attack.
“What happened in Kaduna in particular is really hard for us, we shouldn’t be killed for serving our father’s land. As a matter of fact, it could have happened to me, or anyone else. And here we are. It’s a huge loss, both the outcome of the accident that claimed the lives of our very committed and hardworking four staff from the headquarters who died after the close of work and that of the seven gallant officers ambushed and killed by bandits.”
He commiserated with the families and friends of the deceased and prayed to God to grant them the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss.
In honour of the slain personnel, the CG directed that the corps’ flag be hoisted at half-mast.
While weeping profusely, Audi prayed for God’s protection for all officers and men of the Corps in the New Year and pleaded with God Almighty to avert a recurrence of such an awful incident.