Insecurity: Professor Recommends Mass Recruitment Of Local Hunters

Men display guns at an Amotekun passing-out ceremony in Oyo State on November 18, 2020.
PHOTO USED TO ILLUSTRATE THE STORY: Hunters display guns at an Amotekun passing-out ceremony in Oyo State on November 18, 2020.

 

The Rector of Kaduna Polytechnic, Professor Idris Bugaje has called for the massive recruitment of local hunters from every Local Government Area of the 19 Northern states in order curb the menace of Boko Haram terrorists in the northeast and bandits attacks in the northwest and other parts of the region.

Part of his recommendations is that the hunters must be given a short training on communications and intelligence gathering during operations and thereafter be provided with weapons and other logistics that will enhance their operations.

In a statement titled; “Formula-100: Solution to the Growing Banditry and Insurgency in the North”, the Professor of Engineering, said recruiting at least 100 hunters in each local government of the north is the model every state in the region must adapt if they must tackle the security challenges in the north.

READ ALSO: Soldier Dead, Two Others Injured As Troops Kill Scores Of Terrorists In Borno

“These hunters must be screened at their ward levels to ensure they are of good character with guarantors in the community including Heads of Families, Imams, ward, and village heads. For long these traditional institutions had been neglected and in some places, the bandits have incorporated them into their networks,” Professor Bugaje said.

The security network according to the academician should have a Commander in each local government, who will be given the mandate to clear the bandits in their Local Government Areas.

“Where there is a need for coordinated action across the neighboring LGAs, the Commanders can sit and organize a joint action. This may be necessary in forests such as Dajin Rugu in Katsina State which covers about six Local Government Areas and part of Zamfara State. I am confident this task will be achieved in a matter of weeks or at worse two months,” he added.

Professor Bugaje also suggests that members of the Civilian Joint Task Force should be absorbed into the Army or Police at the end of the exercise, or better a new Security Outfit should be created for each state to assist in fighting crime in a sustainable way.

Professor Bugaje expressed fear that the region is on a dangerous path of self-destruction if the trend of bandit attacks and insurgency continues unabated.

He also described as very embarrassing bandits attack on a boarding secondary school in Kankara, Katsina State, where over 300 school pupils went missing in a week when the President was on a private visit to his State.

PHOTOS: South West Youths, Local Hunters, Others Rally In Support Of Amotekun

Youths, local hunters, community leaders and other concerned groups in the South-West region on Tuesday trooped out in support of the establishment of the security task force code-named Amotekun.

The security task force was recently launched by the six South-West governors with the aim of tackling kidnapping, banditry and other crimes in the region.

The peaceful rally by the youths follows Federal Government’s declaration that the operation is illegal and “the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) has established the Army, Navy, and Airforce, including the Police and other numerous paramilitary organisations for the purpose of the defence of Nigeria”

 

ONDO

In reaction to this pronouncement and in support of the security outfit, youths in Akure, Ondo State state capital held a peaceful rally. They insisted that the security outfit has come to stay.

 

 

OGUN

In Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, youths under the auspices of the Yoruba World Congress (YWC) held a peaceful rally at the popular Panseke market.

The group expressed support for the southwest governors, saying that the security outfit is to complement the effort of security agencies and not to rival it.

 

 

OYO

In Ibadan, the Oyo State Capital, the Yoruba World Congress staged a peaceful rally at the Government House Arcade in Agodi.

Members of the civil society and vigilante groups at the rally chanted solidarity songs and slogans in support of the security outfit.

 

 

EKITI

Also in Ekiti State, a coalition of groups comprising socio-cultural organisations, Ekiti State Council of Elders, vigilante groups and youths held a rally.

They insisted that Amotekun is complementary to the existing conventional security outfits and urged the Federal government to support it.

The representative of the Ekiti State government at the rally also justified the creation of the security outfit by the south-west governors noting that they have simply danced to the tune of the people.

Army Partners Local Hunters For Counter Insurgency War

ArmyThe GOC of 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Brig General Victor Ezugwu, has been seeking stronger collaboration with local hunters with better understanding of the terrains in the North East who voluntarily work hand in hand with the Army in some of the remote towns.

The counter insurgency war code named “Operation Lafiya Dole” has suffered setback since the coming of the rains with some of the terrains getting inaccessible for troops.

He said that the Division would provide the local hunters with cartridges for their supporting role in the war.

“I am very happy the way you are working with the Army here. You should continue because now that the rainy season is here, what these criminals would do is to cease operation but we will want to go after them inside the forest.” The GOC told the local vigilante.

Meanwhile, troops in some of the areas have become weary of their continued stay without adequate rotation.

The pride of winning the war and liberating lost territories is gradually giving way to frustration and apathy.

A soldier in Bitta told the GOC, “Soldiers and officers here in the 114 Battalion we feel we are being punished for something we have committed.

“Six hundred of us were brought here but today due to injuries and deaths the number has dropped and we even had to be reinforced.”

Promising to address the issues, the GOC expressed confidence that the Army has an edge over the outlawed bandits, insisting that peace is gradually returning to the land.

General Ezugwu has been on a 3-day operational tour of formations and units within 7 Division Area of Responsibility (AOR).

121 Task Force Battalion Pulka, ‘A’ Company of 143 Rangers Battalion, 28 Task Force Brigade in Mubi, Adamawa State and 114 Task Force Battalion in Bitta are some of the areas he visited.

Lawyer Commends FG Over Russia Arms Deal, State Of Emergency

Ben_OnuohaA legal practitioner, Mr Ben Onuoha, on Tuesday supported the Federal Government’s decision to turn to Russia for military support to fight the dreaded Boko Haram sect, insisting that “in politics, you only have permanent interests and not permanent friends.

A report by global risk consulting firm, Damina Advicers, on Monday revealed that Nigeria had turned to Russia for weapons and helicopter gunships to fight Boko Haram after repeated requests to the United States did not yield positive results.

“When those you consider  your friends fail you, you have a choice to make new friends while making efforts to mend that friendship that is now ruptured”, he said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

He noted that the threat posed to the Nigeria by Boko Haram is “very severe” and “we cannot afford to fold our arms.

“It is therefore appropriate and I think the government has done right on this to seek new friends because what we need is the cooperation of those who are truly and genuinely willing to assist Nigeria to fight this war”, adding that “if help comes from Russia or any other country, so be it. We can always go back to the US and resolve our differences”.

Though he noted that it is difficult to ignore the US because of “its power in the world”, he maintained that due to Nigeria’s long relationship with the world super power, only an “extraordinary thing will makes not to get the support of the US”

He also supported President Jonathan’s emergency rule in three north eastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa insisting that it is no “joke” but “a serious matter” that “is required at this time because the provisions and requirements to grant it are all there”.

He urged Nigerians to be more concerned with “critical things” needed by the military to fight the insurgents rather than worrying about the results achieved while the north eastern states were under the emergency rule.

Mr Onuoha further noted that “the constitution provides for certain statutory bodies- the National Defence Council and National Security Council- these bodies are populated by the top brass of the military, the President, the Vice President- to they give the President advice on what they need and what they don’t need”.

Though, he acknowledged the efforts of the Civilian JTF and local hunters, he maintained that the Nigerian military will still lead the charge against the insurgents; insisting that “if they say they want this, it behooves on us to provide it for them”.

He, however, noted that he expected the President to have done some “ground work” before sending the request to the National Assembly seeking an extension of the State of Emergency in the three north eastern states.

“The President should have done more by way of engaging the leadership of the National Assembly; if he did I do not know, but it is important, if that was done, it has not manifested at all.

“In the US it is called lobbying. If you want something for you, you must take people you want to approach into confidence” warning that “Nigeria is at risk” if this matter is not treated beyond political party leanings”.