Deputy Commander General, DCG, of Nigerian Hunters and Forest Security Services, NHFSS, in charge of Technical Services, Ambassador John Metchie, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to give assent as a matter of urgency to the Nigerian Hunters and Forestry Security Service Bill passed by the National Assembly.
He said signing the bill into law would empower hunters in the fight against kidnapping in the country.
Metchie, who commended the police authorities for the rescue of 58 victims of banditry and kidnap in FCT Command, said the President should consider the bill as an urgent matter.
It would be recalled that the FCT Command of the Nigeria Police had, over the weekend, said it rescued 58 kidnap victims held hostage at Udulu Forest in Gegu LGA of Kogi State, bordering Sardauna Forest in Nasarawa State and other identified kidnappers’ dens in communities contiguous to the territory
FCT Police spokesperson, SP Josephine Adeh, said the rescue was a joint operation with other security agencies, vigilantes, and hunters from the various local communities.
Reacting to the development, Metchie, who is the DCG of NHFSS in charge of Technical Services, said the primary responsibility of NHFSS is to curb crimes in Nigerian forests.
Chief Metchie, who is also the African Director of the International Association of World Peace Advocates, said that in recent times, reports from Police and other security agencies across the country indicate that hunters have become strategic partners in operations to rid the country of crimes, especially those carried out inside and within forests, especially by providing information and intelligence.
His words: “On behalf of the Commander General of the NHFSS, Dr. Joshua Wole Osatimehin, I want to commend the Nigerian Police for the rescue of 58 victims of banditry and kidnap.
“Before their rescue, these citizens of Nigeria were held hostage for days, some months, at Udulu Forest in Gegu LGA of Kogi State, bordering Sardauna Forest in Nasarawa State and other identified kidnappers’ dens in communities contiguous to the Territory
“From the statement given by the FCT Police spokesperson, SP Josephine Adeh, the rescue was carried by the Police in collaboration with other security operatives as well as Hunters.
“It is, therefore, imperative that Hunters have become integral and inseparable part of Nigeria’s security system, especially in the areas of information and intelligence gathering. Hunters have also apprehended many criminals in various communities across the country and handed them over to the Police, Army, and other security agencies while contributing to foiling plans by bandits, terrorists, and others, especially within forests and farms.
“We, therefore, use this opportunity to, once again, appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of national importance, give assent to the Nigerian Hunters and Forestry Security Service Bill, which the chambers of the National Assembly have passed.
“The call has become necessary in view of the fact that the current administration has but a few weeks to hand over to the next.
“Knowing that the primary responsibility of the NHFSS, is to curb crimes and criminalities in Nigerian forests, the President’s assent to the Bill would empower Officers and Men of NHFSS and would further motivate them to occupy strategic positions in the forests and farms, and that way, make it difficult for those using the forests to carry out nefarious activities against the state and people of Nigeria.
“Apart from curbing banditry, terrorism, kidnapping and other anti-people activities, signing the Bill into law, would enable government recruit thousands of young men and women as hunters and forest guards which would help to solve the issue of acute unemployment, one of the most serious challenges facing the nation.
“In conclusion, we wish to state that, one of the greatest legacies Mr. President would leave behind as the Father of the Nation, is to sign the NHFSS Bill into law to boost the fight against insecurity,l.”