The executive governor of Edo state, Mr Godwin Obaseki has approached the Corps for the service of the NSCDC Agro Rangers in the state to secure their farmers in the forest and to protect all forms of investment in the agricultural sector. This was made known during a courtesy visit to the CG, NSCDC, Abdullahi Gana Mohammed at the National headquarters of the Corps in Abuja.

In his address, the Governor rated the Corps very high in terms of performance, especially for the initiative of establishing the Agro rangers at a time when the Agricultural sector is threatened by high level of insecurity. He expressed confidence in the Corps, which, according to him has continued to distinguish itself among other security agencies in the country. He commended the Commandant General for providing good leadership for the Corps, which has continued to impress him in many ways, most especially for stimulating patriotic zeal in the Corps personnel to serve the nation without prejudice or compromise as exemplified during the recent joint training program organized for all security agencies (JTF) in Edo state.

He emphasized that beyond providing protection for their forest; especially this rainy season, which is associated with all sorts of criminalities and attacks such as terrorism and kidnapping of farmers, the engagement of the Corps Agro rangers, will boost farmer’s confidence and encourage more people to go back to their farms.  Obaseki reiterates that plans are underway to set up the forest guard in partnership with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps as a means of reinforcing security within the Agricultural sector and protecting the forest from saboteurs.

Obaseki applauds the effort of the Edo State Commandant for a very good working relationship with the state government especially in terms of providing timely security reports and assured of continued support and prompt response to the Corps request at all times.  He stated that, the proposed forest guard to be established by the state would be trained by the Civil Defence Corps to support the state government’s effort in promoting internal security and alleviating fears among farmers and other investors in the sector.

Receiving the governor, Abdullahi Gana commended him for this laudable initiative, noting that the era of COVID 19 pandemic necessitates that greater emphasis be placed on agriculture and food sufficiency to cater for Nigerians and NSCDC is poised to support the government in ensuring adequate food production and supply while also providing physical security.

The CG, describes the proposed establishment of forest guard as a welcome development in the face of current reality and assures the governor of his total support; affirming that, the Corps will work hand in hand with the state government to achieve its purpose which is in line with the mandate of the NSCDC Agro rangers, set up by the Federal government to secure farmers and protect all Agro allied investment in the Agricultural sector. He noted that Gov. Obaseki is the 21st state governor to approach the Corps for partnership in the Agriculture sector, which is already in force and yielding positive results in some states in the country.

Abdullahi thanked the governor for assisting the Corps with the expanse of land provided to build its state headquarters and the donation of operational vehicles to ease performance of its mandate. He assures the governor that the Corps will not disappoint, rather, will continue to adopt cutting-edge strategies in actualizing its mandate, adding that the governor’s request will be granted and personnel of the Agro rangers would be deployed to the state just like in Borno and other states in the Northeast.

The Agro Rangers Unit of the Corps was established in 2016, after a high powered meeting between the CG, the then Minister of Interior and former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, on the need to protect agricultural investment and the proposed cattle ranches in Nigeria with 5000 personnel sufficiently trained by the Nigerian military, a decision many, especially farmers have commended for restoring peace and helping to stabilize the agricultural sector.

Okeh Emmanuel, DCC