Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Benue State command has inaugurated a special force unit called Agro Rangers to check the incessant farmer/herders clashes in the state.
Speaking during the event, state commandant of the corps, Kamilu, Isah Ado, said the unit was saddled with the responsibility of providing security and protection of all agro-allied investment.
He explained that the pioneer class, comprising 55 men would work to “forestall attacks on farms and boost farmers’ confidence to work on their farms without fear of attacks, thereby guaranteeing the Federal government’s plan of food security.”
According to Ado, the Agro Rangers unit of NSCDC was established following recommendations by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Interior to tame the rising wave of conflict between herdsmen and farmers.
He named three pillars that make up the Rangers’ mission to include special operations, raids, forcible entry operations, and special reconnaissance.
“Today, we have inaugurated 55 officers and men of the corps in this special unit. The second batch is undergoing training at the NSCDC College of Conflict and Disaster Management, Babban Ruga Katsina, in Katsina State, Nigeria. By the time they are through, we will have about 200. We will continue to train them,” Ado said.
The Commissioner of Police, Benue State Command, Mukkadas Garba, said the occasion is another opening towards the protection of the Nigerian populace in the face of violence between herdsmen and farmers. He was represented by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Nick Uduji.
While assuring of the cooperation of his command in the success of the special unit, the CP expressed the hope that a permanent solution to the herdsmen/farmers crisis was in sight.
“It is a very, very encouraging exercise. Benue and Nigeria are faced with security challenges and deserve what has happened here today. It is my hope that the Agro Rangers will add more value to checking security challenges in the state.
“Let me use this opportunity to appeal for cooperation of other security agencies for results to be achieved,” Ter Makurdi Sule Abenga counselled.
The event was attended by the commandant, of 72 Special Forces Battalion, Makurdi, representative of the provost, Nigerian Navy Provost and Regulations School, Makurdi, representative of the commander, Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) and representative of the Benue State Director of Department of State Security