Borno state governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, has donated parts of the Sambisa forest for use on the controversial Rural Grazing Area (RUGA).
The governor also mobilized the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Agro Rangers and hunters to secure the large expanse of land and make it safe for the scheme.
The allocated area covers six council areas of Konduga, Bama, Gwoza, Chibok, Damboa and Askira/Uba.
The governor made the decision public on Wednesday while hosting the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Garbai El-Kanemi who paid him Sallah homage.
The governor, said 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.”
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.
“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 revealed that the government has also embarked on vegetation and bush clearance of 187-kilometre Maiduguri-Damboa-Biu road, noting that the exercise would ensure safety of travelers and motorists to ease movements of goods and services across the state.
The governor also directed the immediate demolition of illegal structures in the metropolis.
He said the structures are suspected to be used by prostitutes and illicit drug dealers and must be checked to sanitize the state capital.
The monarch who commended the governor, called for an effective security measures along with the demolition of illegal hotels in Maiduguri.
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