A civil society organisation, Centre for Media Advocacy (CMA) has called on relevant stakeholders and security agencies to adopt the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Agro-Rangers Initiative to help combat the incessant banditry and kidnappings across the country.
The CSO maintained that as a result of the initiative by the Commandant-General, NSCDC, Abdullahi Muhammadu few years ago and the apt implementation by the management of NSCDC and other sister security agencies in the north, cattle rustling has been a thing of the past.
The CSO in a statement jointly signed by the executive director, CMA, Comrade Sule Inuwa and his director Media, Comrade Gabriel Gwajime and made available to LEADERSHIP Friday yesterday in Abuja, said the organisation wondered why this initiative is not applied in other security sectors as it is grassroots-oriented, working with the local people in the community and farmlands across the north.
It said the populist approach of this initiative has helped to fish out hoodlums and bad eggs within a given community as the traditional rulers work with the members of the community to rid their domain of any unwanted group operating against the beliefs and peaceful coexistence of the community.
The statement said the measure is to protect farmers against incessant attacks by bandits and kidnappings so as to enable them to cultivate their farmlands for the food security of the nation.
The statement reads in part, “This same initiative can be used by security agencies to nip in the bud the incessant banditry and kidnappings across the length and breadth of the country for its grassroots’ appeal and workability of this initiative which is in tandem with the traditional institutions and the people at the local level in the North.
“CMA reasons that as credible as it is, that the agro-rangers scheme was designed to secure ranches, animals and grazing areas so as to encourage investments in agriculture, boost food security and the security of lives of the people in any given country. This has gone a long way to help protect our local and foreign investments in agriculture, thereby giving us more for export earnings and boosting local industries for growth as well as offering employment opportunities to our teeming youth population.’’
CMA noted with satisfaction the agro-rangers collaboration with the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC).
It appealed to organisations, public-spirited individuals, institutions and the international community to support President Buhari’s drive to modernise the NSCDC through adequate funding.