The Nigerian Hunters Council (NHC) has in Abuja, renewed its commitment towards detecting and combating crime and criminality in the country, as it seeks official recognition as a security agency.
Commander-General of the council, Joshua Osatimehin, stated this on Monday, at the end of a five-day capacity training for over 7000 personnel of the NHC on corporate safety and conservation.
He said that the personnel of the NHC were now more committed to intensifying attacks on bandits, kidnappers and other forms of criminality in the society.
Osatimehin, however, appealed to the National Assembly to speed up the process of ensuring that the Nigerian Hunters Council bill 2020 becomes a law.
“This bill will give the council a legal backing critical in combating crime. What we are doing here today is our personal efforts.
“We have our headquarters and offices in the 36 states of the federation. What we want the government to do is to recognise hunters as a security agency in Nigeria.
“If this can be recognised by an enabling law, crimes and criminality will be drastically reduced in Nigeria.
“The bill has passed first and second reading and the public hearing at the senate, any moment from now we expect it to be passed into law and we will not relax until government gives us the enabling law.
“When you aspire to acquire what you desire you don’t need to retire but you ‘refire’,’’ he added.
Osatimehin emphasised that security was the responsibility of all, hence the need for all hands to be on deck.
“In view of the current security challenges confronting the country, there is an urgent reason why Nigeria should incorporate the hunters’ council into the security architecture of the country.
“We have had series of trainings from the Nigerian police force, under inter-agency collaboration, and we have also had lectures from the Department of State Security (DSS) on discipline and understanding national security.
“Also, the Nigerian Army was here too to lecture us on how hunters can play their role in tackling insecurity, especially in the forests,’’ he said.
He urged the participants to be disciplined as this was the bedrock of the organisation.
“That you have been trained does not make you equal to the Nigeria Police. Regard the Police, Army and DSS as the parenting body of this organisation and they must be respected.
“We are here to complement the job of other security agencies, so we need to be highly disciplined and respectful.
“You came here as hunters, but you have been trained so you must be good ambassadors of NHC in your various communities so that the effect of the training can be felt in all the nooks and crannies of this country,’’ he said.
Osatimehin assured that the safety and unity of the country remained a priority to the organisation.
“Nigeria must remain indivisible and the effort will come from you and I.
“We want to support the Federal Government in combating crime and criminality in the forests, as this is critical in improving internal security,’’ he said.
Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno underscored the importance of having local hunters in tackling insecurity in Borno and the country.
Represented by his Senior Special adviser on Security, Alhaji Bello Matawalle, Zulum pledged the support of the Borno state government to the hunters to advance their cause.
According to him, they know the terrain and can provide the needed information required to surmount the challenges posed by insecurity.
Assistant Commander, Forest Surveillance, Anene Ogene, stressed the need for the personnel to apply the knowledge acquired from the training to enhance their performance.
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