For some years, there have been allegations of human rights abuses by some men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) in the course of executing their federal mandate of securing oil/gas facilities. These happened mostly in the Okordia-Zarama axis where dozens of oil spills have been recorded over the past couple of years. To help address this, SACA organized a workshop for the officers of the corps in the State, on the United Nations Guiding Principles and the Voluntary Principles on Business, Security and Human Rights. The NSCDC are the security forces with the statutory federal mandate to protect the oil/gas installations and other critical national assets of the country. The workshop, which took place on April 12, 2019 at the Command's State headquarters in Yenagoa, was attended by all the senior officers and management of the Corps, representatives of the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), other NGOs including the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, the State Ministry of Environment and some traditional rulers and representatives of Okordia-Zarama Cluster.
The workshop started with a welcome and opening address by the Corps’ State Commandant, Mr. Pedro Awili Ideba. Mr. Ideba lauded SACA for its interventions in the State, specifically acknowledging SACA’s Anti-vandalism workshop in 2018 which he described as very wonderful, and how SACA had interfaced with NSCDC, playing vital roles in ensuring that the mandate of the NSCDC was delivered. He expressed his wishes that there were other NGOs working the way SACA does to promote environmental accountability. “My personal interest is that this organization is a non-governmental organization, which means that how they generate money, I do not know. And yet they are doing so much for the nation. I just hope that Nigerians and other well-meaning organizations will be able to emulate the gesture of this company in ensuring that our people live a clean and healthy life, and ensuring that the environment is kept healthy. For we know that if there is a healthy environment, development will thrive.”