The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Tuesday inaugurated its Agro-Rangers unit to check farmers and herders clashes in the state.
The State Commandant of the Corps, Lucy Samu, said during the occasion that the inauguration presented an opportunity for the nation to be hopeful security-wise and embrace peace.
Ms Samu said the agro-rangers had received one of the most rigorous trainings from the Nigerian military and were ready for action.
“They have been specially trained to provide security to agro-allied facilities, agro allied-based industries, investments and ranches nationwide.
“This is aimed at bringing to a halt the incessant incidences of herders and farmers clashes, which usually lead to senseless killings and wanton destruction of property.
“All who are into agricultural production are allowed to apply for security from the NSCDC,” she said.
She sought assistance from the state government and well-meaning individuals to ensure optimal performance from the agro-rangers.
“We seek at least three operational vehicles to enable us cover the three senatorial zones of the state, communication gadgets, body amour and protective helmets, motor bikes among others,” she said.
Governor David Umahi represented by the Permanent Secretary-designate in the Ministry of Border, Peace and Internal Security, Ogbonnaya Otah, expressed delight at the inauguration and urged the unit to be proactive.
“The state government is always responsive to issues of security as this inauguration is line with the state government’s policies and programmes on security.
“This aims at providing adequate security to farmers, herdsmen and other citizens of the state as we have put a lot of machinery in place for peaceful co-existence between farmers and herdsmen.
“We have inaugurated the state committee on farmers and herdsmen and committees in the Local Government Areas (LGA) on farmers and herdsmen relationship.
“This is also applied at community levels and all are to ensure that the Federal Government policies on farmers and herdsmen are brought to the grassroots for peaceful co-existence,” he said.
He pledged to look into the requests of the NSCDC as regards the agro-rangers as the government would ensure that they succeeded in the onerous task.
Daniel Ukwuoma, the Director, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in the state, commended the NSCDC for the initiative, noting that it would bring the desired harmonious co-existence between farmers and herdsmen.
“The inauguration of the agro rangers unit will ensure that the herders, for instance, will not carry guns to protect themselves while the farmers will not carry machetes and cubs for the same purpose.
“The Federal Government has placed much emphasis on agricultural investment as this development will ensure that any investment made in this area will be protected,” he said.
Ibrahim Idris, the representative of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), said the association would intensify its efforts to enlighten its members on peaceful co-existence with farmers in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the leadership of the Nigerian Police Force, Nigerian Correctional Service among other security agencies graced the occasion.