Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno on Wednesday said he would not be deterred by insurgents’ intimidation and attacks in some resettled communities in the past weeks in the state.
Zulum, who spoke at the inauguration of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Agro-Ranger squad, said his administration remained committed to ending insurgency and restoring peace to the state.
“Let me assure our people that the recent intimidations by insurgents at Gajiram; Gajiganna, Dalori and Gubio will never deter us from our commitments to finding peace and stability in the state.
“We will not be frightened, we will not fear any threat, it rather increases our commitment and resilience until we find peace.
“During my inaugural address; I pledged my commitment towards upholding Section 14 (1b) of the constitution that categorically states that security and welfare of the people are the primary purpose of government. I am ready and ever committed to ensuring the fulfilment of that pledge,” he said.
Zulum said the state government would continue to collaborate with the military, police and other security agencies to protect lives and property.
He noted that the state government had so far opened up farmlands and mobilised farmers to encourage agricultural activities.
The governor added that effective measures had been evolved to provide grants to farmers and enhance farmer support services.
Commenting on the agro-ranger initiative, Zulum assured of the state government’s support for the squad to ensure sustainability.
He also presented 10 patrol vehicles to the squad, and pledged to provide communication gadgets to them.
The governor further renewed calls for insurgents to surrender for de-radicalisation and reintegration into society.
Also, Abdullahi Ibrahim, the Corps Commander in the state, disclosed that 75 agro-ranger squad deployed to the state, would work alongside 120 members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), hunters and vigilante, to protect farmers in the Maiduguri area.
Ibrahim explained that the squad would be conducting patrol at Njimtilo; Moloi-Kura, Tamsu-Ngamdu, Masu, Shuwari-Karaye and Madu-Ajiri axis of the town.
He tasked the agro-ranger squad to be guided by the rules of engagement governing their operations.
While commending Zulum over his support to the corps, Ibrahim called on organisations and wealthy individuals to support the squad to ensure its sustainability.
He also called for synergy between the agro-ranger squad and other security agencies to counter insurgency and protect farmers and communities.
“NSCDC is geared to protect liberated communities in Borno, so that people can return to their homes and cultivate their farmlands,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NSCDC initiated the special agro-ranger squad to protect ranches and farmlands as well as provide intelligence on livestock and dams.
The corps planned to deploy 5,000 personnel to about 2,500 ranches and farming communities in the country.