By Omeiza Ajayi
As part of measures to stem the increasing wave of clashes between itinerant herdsmen and sedentary farmers, Acting Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps NSCDC, Hilary Kelechi Madu has ordered zonal and state Commandants to adopt Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism in resolving issues before they snowball into ethnic violence.
Madu gave the directive Wednesday in Abuja during his maiden conference with very senior officers from the rank of Commandants.
He also announced more deployment of personnel from the Agro rangers squad to states where there have been series of altercations between farmers and herdsmen.
He said; “Apply professionally all Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms in settling farmers/herders and other Communal clashes. I believe every State now has a substantial number of Certified ADR Trained officers. Series of events in the Country, recent being the Oyo ethnic clash, calls for concerted efforts to tackle the emerging ugly trend.
“I want you to focus on massive deployment and aggressive engagements of Agro-Rangers operatives in fighting crimes since most crimes are now perpetrated in the forest and bushes.
“More aggressive anti-vandalism drive, especially in states with Oil and Gas Pipelines through massive deployment of our officers and men to all critical national assets and infrastructure sites on a 24/7 basis. Henceforth, State Commandants will have to offer explanation for any glory taken by other agencies over a duty that is part of our core mandate. We must reclaim our glory and redeem our image”.
He also charged the senior officers to pay attention to the maintenance of their office and operational equipment.
“Use the resources at your disposal, especially the assistance from your State Governors, to maintain your offices, operational vehicles and other equipment. All grounded vehicles should be repaired and put to use.
“Spread your tentacles by establishing good community relations through which you can generate real time and actionable intelligence. We shall soon introduce performance measures for state Commandants and rate them on the basis of promptness and reliability of their intelligence reports.
“The Honourable Minister has charged us to provide clear role in the area of Agro Rangers to boost food production in the country. It is therefore our responsibility to rejig our operational capacity and capability to drive this policy thrust of government. I call on you to do away with corruption and ineptitude and embrace dedication to duties for us to bring back the lost glory of the Corps.
“In compliance with the Minister’s directives, I immediately set up a Committee comprising very Senior Officers, drawn from both Uniform and Civilian Staff, to work out modalities for the implementation of the Minister’s Instructions. The Committee had since commenced work and a lot of progress has been achieved so far”, Madu added.