By Marie-Therese Nanlong
The about 1, 000 newly inaugurated Agro Ranger special unit by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to address the recurring farmers/herders conflict in the country would as part of their duties serve as mediator in any conflict between farmers and herders in the hinterland across the country.
The personnel drafted for the special unit; having been trained for the job would soon be deployed to their duty posts in the different conflicts-prone areas and in Plateau State, an official of the Corps disclosed that over 300 of the 1, 000 personnel so far trained are from Plateau Command.
Speaking with Vanguard in Jos on the sideline of the ongoing training on conflict transformation and human rights organized by a non-governmental organization, Search for Common Ground with support from the Kingdom of the Netherlands for government actors in Plateau State, Panasome Emmanuel who is the Head, Peace and Conflict Resolution Unit of NSCDC in the State said such efforts would reduce violent conflicts in the State.
Emmanuel who is a participant at the training said the agro rangers have been trained and when grouped and deployed, positive impacts would be felt in the hinterlands and promised to step-down the knowledge gained to the personnel of the special unit.
According to him, “Recently, a special unit has been inaugurated and established by the corps mandating it to go into the agro-rangers mandate that is in charge of the farmers/herders conflicts in the State. About 1, 000 personnel had been trained nationwide and presently, another set of 1, 000 is undergoing training at the Katsina College. The first set has been inaugurated and would soon be deployed to conflict-prone areas where there have been conflicts between the farmers/herders.
“We are waiting for the second set to also be trained fully so that when they come back, they will also be field in bits to play their roles as mediators between farmers and herders especially in Riyom, Jos South, Bokkos and Barkin Ladi local government areas. The rangers would monitor activities in the farms in the areas where they will be posted, presently, duty posts are being formed and when they are completed, deployments will commence.”
Speaking on the readiness of the rangers to wade off security threats in their places of assignments, he stated, “These personnel are trained by the Nigerian Army, they are well-equipped because we are very much aware of the proliferation of small arms so measures have been put in place to tackle that whenever such threat arises.
Also, the State Comptroller of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Aliyu Abdul who was represented by Sabo Habu of the Passport Issuance and Archiving department of the Service urged other stakeholder working to resolve the farmers/herders conflict to “always draw the attention of the Service in the case of an arrest of any foreigner,” stressing that situations where foreigners come in to cause any trouble within the country cannot be tolerated.