No fewer than 6,111 operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps are receiving therapy and counselling after undergoing psychological evaluations carried out on the directive of the NSCDC Commandant-General, Dr Ahmed Audi.
It was gathered that more corps would also be assessed by psychologists and other mental experts during the exercise which was meant to discover solutions and treatment options to meet their psycho-social needs.
Audi had in March gave the order for the evaluation of the NSCDC personnel as part of measures to sanitise the corps and ensure that only those who are certified okay can bear firearms.
Giving an update on Sunday, in response to inquiries, the NSCDC Public Relations Officer, Olusola Odumosu, noted that the assessed personnel are benefiting from individual therapy and group counselling sessions on account of various mental health-related issues.
He stated, “The directive of the CG on Psychological Assessment and Evaluation of NSCDC operatives had begun and is ongoing. It is a work in progress. So far 6,111 personnel have been assessed.
“Personnel are benefiting from individual therapy and group counselling sessions on account of various mental health-related issues, behavioural issues and wellbeing.
“No officer has been recommended for sacking; the aim is to discover solutions and treatment options to meet psychosocial needs of personnel and to help the management to place personnel in suitable positions.”
Findings by our correspondent indicate that the police have yet to carry out psychological assessments of their officers despite the involvement of many policemen in cases of extra-judicial killings, brutality and other professional misconduct.
Checks indicate that only members of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad were subjected to evaluations following the #EndSARS protests last October.
The force public relations officer, Frank Mba, did not respond to questions on the number of men that participated in the exercise.
The Force Medical Officer, Dr Olubunmi Ogunsanwo, explained that the exercise was carried out at various state commands, adding that he did not know the number of operatives involved.
But senior police officers, who spoke with Newsmen said they have never been subjected to mental evaluation since they joined the force.
A retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Adedayo Adeoye regretted that the police have not been evaluating their men due to alleged paucity of funds.
He added, “Psychological evaluation is a good idea but I don’t think the police have been doing it and this is not right. Apart from that, police officers are simply promoted now without going for a course and that is why many of them cannot perform well. Such psychological evaluation is supposed to hold during the course but they hardly go on course anymore due to poor funding.”