Joseph Inokotong, Abuja
The Commandant General of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu, has decried the spate of insurgency in the Northeast, vandalisation of oil pipelines in the Niger Delta and kidnapping and armed robbery plaguing other parts of the country.
He said these evil vices, especially the conflicts and clashes between farmers and herders have cost the nation thousands of lives and millions worth of properties. The NSCDC boss said this national challenge had triggered a meeting between the ministers of Agriculture and Interior, which resulted in a communiqué communicated to the NSCDC NHQ to establish agro-rangers.
In a statement by CDPRO Emmanuel Okeh, in Abuja yesterday, he said as at “today the Agro-Rangers has been established and about 1,500 officers had been trained and deployed to states to provide security for the agro-allied investment and other related businesses.”
He explained that the agro-rangers would provide physical security to the proposed 250 ranches in order to curtail the farmers/herders clashes, and also collaborate with the Civilian Joint Task Force to ensure adequate security for the farmers and also have a census of the farmers and herders to facilitate better policy framework for the government to use in formulating policies for the farmers and herders for national development.
Muhammadu pointed out that relative peace has returned to the farms as both farmers and herders are relating as friends and associates. “The level of friendship existing among those former enemies is being noticed even by state governors who are now fighting to have more agro-rangers officers to be posted to their state,” he said. “More governors from the Northern and southern states who had witnessed the good works these officers are doing have requested that more agro- rangers officers be posted to their states.”
He cited example with Borno State government that had voluntarily donated 20 vehicles and paid allowances and other incentives to the agro- rangers posted to the state, stressing that they are enjoying relative peace in their farms, hence farmers and herders who had withdrawn from the farmers have returned to increase food production and sufficiency in the state. According to him, states from Southern Nigeria, especially Imo State have also applied for more agro-rangers to help them provide peace in the turbulent areas where they are having boundary disputes and to secure their farmers.