As part of efforts to reduce to a barest minimum the spate of killings by Fulani herdsmen and other bandits on farms in rural communities of Oyo State, The Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), the state chapter have launched operation ‘Agro Rangers’ squad to combat banditry.
Speaking at the launching of the initiative at the NSCDC state headquarter, the state Commandant, Iskilu Abiodun Akinsanya said the squad was launched after rigorous training from Katsina to fight illegal deforestation and mining while thanking the National Commandant and the state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde for support to incorporate them in the security architecture of the state.
Photos show Agro Ranger operational display
According to him, Agro Ranger is an acronym from farming plantation and livestock while Ranger is a special operation troop specialized in counter terrorist and unconventional warfare special force division.
He added that Agro Ranger unit of NSCDC was an initiative of the former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh and his Interior Counterpart, Abdulrahaman Danbazau saying the strategy is expected to forestall further attacks on farms and therefore boost farmer confidence to work on their farms without fear of attack.
He continued: “Nigeria has witnessed deadly attacks between farmers and herdsmen in parts of Benue, Plateau, Taraba, Niger, Nasarawa and Kaduna States. In the last three years, the attacks resulted in losses of lives and farm investments worth billions of Naira; thus threatening the country’s drive towards food sufficiency. This is in addition to rising cases of cattle rustling, banditry and kidnapping.
Akinsanya maintained that the initiative has three pillar Range missions which are Special Operation Raid, Forcible Entry Operation and Special Reconnaissance/Racce. He noted that Agro Rangers are role model elite force of NSCDC who are mentally and physically trained by the Generals of the Nigerian Army at NSCDC college of Conflict and Disaster Management, Babba Ruga Katsina in Katsina State for good three months.
He said Agro Ranger is very important in prevailing over insecurities in the state where there’s threat to lives of average citizens and critical infrastructure.
He said: “I have deployed some rangers to all the Silos in Oyo State and Oyo North Senatorial District where we have prevalent issues of herdsmen and farmers’ clash. With this, there will be food security, local and foreign investors are encouraged to invest in Oyo State. There will be creation of jobs in Agro Allied Industries and it will increase government revenue”, he stated.