The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps says it has concluded arrangements to deploy additional 1, 500 personnel under its Agro-Ranger Scheme to farmlands this cropping season to provide security for farmers.
The Commandant-General of the corps, Abdullahi Muhammadu, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri on Saturday.
According to Mr Muhammadu, the measure is to protect farmers against incessant attacks by “bandits and kidnappers” to enable them cultivate their farmlands.
He said that the deployment would also mobilise farmers and build their confidence to enable them carry out their activities without fear.
Mr Muhammadu explained that about 750 personnel would undergo five-week training before deployment to the eight bandits’ prone areas in Katsina State.
He said that the personnel would be exposed to techniques for internal security, map reading, tactics, first aid and field craft as well as Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detection and demobilisation.
The commander decried reports which indicated that several farmers were killed in farmlands, while others had been displaced due to armed attacks.
Mr Muhammadu said the Agro-Ranger unit was created following a request by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to provide security to the proposed 250 cattle ranches in the country.
Agro-Ranger scheme was designed to secure ranches animals and grazing areas to encourage investment in agriculture.
The corps had in January deployed about 2, 500 personnel to check clashes between farmers and herdsmen.