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Borno gov converts Sambisa forest to cattle ranch

…deploys Agro rangers

By Kwiza Mbumbeh, Maiduguri

Governor Babagana Umara of Borno State has deployed the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) agro rangers and hunters to implement Rural Grazing Areas (RUGA) in Borno state.

RUGA is located in Sambisa Forest and its fringes, comprising six council areas of Konduga, Bama, Gwoza, Chibok, Damboa and Askira/Uba, it was gathered.

The deployment was announced on Monday, when the Shehu of Borno,
Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai El-Kanemi paid a Sallah visit to the governor at Government House, Maiduguri.

According to him, the deployment of agro rangers, vigilantes and hunters, are to protect farmers and herders in their respective communities.

Prof. Umara told the monarch that government would also deploy an Emergency Rapid Response Team (ERRT), comprising security personnel to protect commuters and rural dwellers against Boko Haram insurgents and bandits.

He said, “This administration is determined to strengthen the security architecture to encourage farming and herding activities across the state.

“We’re distributing 80 patrol vehicles to the response team, so that farmers, herders and commuters could move and travel within a radius of 30-40 kilometres of Maiduguri metropolis.”

“The state government is determined to address the root causes of insurgency, through improved security, fight against drug abuse and enhance food security with increased job creation among unemployed youths.”

He said the security response team, comprises 500 troops and hunters that know the terrain of the forest. On RUGA implementation, he said: “About 75 trained agro rangers and 300 hunters, will also be mobilized next week to enable farmers cultivate their farmlands that were prevented by terrorists’ activities.

According to him, government has also embarked on vegetation and bush
clearance of 187-kilometre Maiduguri-Damboa-Biu road.

He said the exercise, could ensure safety of travelers and motorists to ease movements of goods and services across the state.

The governor also directed the immediate demolition of illegalstructures in the metropolis. The structures, according to him, are suspected to be used by prostitutes and illicit drug dealers and must be checked to sanitise the state capital.

While commending the governor for implementing two-month government
policies, El-Kanemi called for an effective security measures along with the demolition of illegal hotels in Maiduguri.

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