By Omeiza Ajayi – Abuja
Farmers in the Boko Haram ravaged Northeast are gradually returning to their farms following the decision of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps NSCDC to deploy some of its 5,000-strong Agro-Rangers squad in farm settlements, Vanguard has learned.
Commandant General of the NSCDC, Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu disclosed this in a telephone chat in Abuja.
According to him, the squad has begun providing security cover for farmers to allow them access to their farms and enhance food security.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in March 2018 ordered the deployment of civil defense personnel to schools in the Northeast in order to provide security cover for students and pupils.
Gana who led the initial deployment consequently ordered his men to also provide cover for farmers in the area.
“I spent weeks going round the Northeast when the presidential directive was given to provide security for the schools. We consequently agreed that we needed to do something for the farmers using our new Agro-Rangers squad.
“Part of their brief is to accompany farmers to their farms and accompany them back in the evenings. They also provide security on some of the roads to the farms. The squad will also help to resolve the lingering altercation between sedentary farmers and pastoralist-herdsmen.
“The squad is relatively new and we seek the support of all stakeholders to enable us to discharge this mandate creditably. Already, our efforts were recently recognised in Geneva where we won an award as a result of the novel idea behind creating the Rangers”, Gana said.
Established in 2016 by the NSCDC Boss, the Agro-Rangers Scheme is designed to provide maximum security to agro-allied investments in Nigeria, fight cattle rustlers, combat kidnapping along farm routes or settlements, and mediate between herdsmen and crop farmers.