The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, says it has concluded arrangements to deploy additional 1,500 personnel under its Agro-Ranger Scheme to farmlands this cropping season to provide security for farmers.
The Commandant-General of the corps, Abdullahi Muhammadu made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri.
According to Mr. Muhammadu, the measure is to protect farmers against incessant attacks by ‘bandits and kidnappers’ to enable them cultivate their farmlands.
He said that the deployment would also mobilize farmers and build their confidence to enable them carry out their activities without fear.
Mr. Muhammadu explained that about 750 personnel would undergo five-week training before deployment to the eight bandit’s prone areas in Katsina State.
He said that the personnel would be exposed to techniques for internal security, map reading, tactics, first aid and field craft as well as Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) detection and demobilization.
The NSCDC boss decried reports which indicated that several farmers were killed in farmlands, while others had been displaced due to armed attacks.
The Commander said the Agro-Ranger unit was created following a request by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to provide security to the proposed 250 cattle ranches in the country saying Agro-Ranger Scheme was designed to secure ranches, animals and grazing areas to encourage investment in agriculture.
It could be recalled that the corps had in January deployed about 2,500 personnel to check clashes between farmers and herdsmen.
We want to commend the NSCDC for this initiative and hope that the essence of its creation must be adhered to.
Daily Nigerian Horn is not unaware of some security personnel going against the dictates of their creation by not only brutalizing the people but also extorting them at gun point.
Equally, the NSCDC personnel must not be seen to support or encourage one sector against another since they are to act as buffer zone between farmer and herdsmen.
Consequently, they must be seen to be neutral in all issues affecting the communities where they are sent to having in mind that the issue of cattle ranches or RUGA have become contentious. This is our take.