The Nigerian Hunters and Forest Security Service (NHFSS) has commended the Federal Capital Territory Police Command for the rescue of 58 victims of banditry and kidnap.
DAILY POST earlier reported that the FCT Police Command rescued 58 kidnap victims who were held hostage at Udulu Forest in Gegu LGA of Kogi State, bordering Sardauna Forest in Nasarawa State and other kidnappers’ dens in communities contiguous to the territory.
The operation, according to the spokesperson of the command, SP Josephine Adeh, was carried out by operatives of the command with other security agencies, vigilantes and hunters from the local communities.
Reacting to the development, the Deputy Commander General (DCG) of NHFSS in charge of Technical Services, Ambassador John Chukwudi Metchie, in a statement Tuesday, said the primary responsibility of the NHFSS was to curb crimes and criminalities in Nigerian forests.
He urged President Muhammadu Buhari, to, as a matter of urgency, give assent to the Nigerian Hunters and Forestry Security Service Bill, which he said, has been passed by the chambers of the National Assembly.
Chief Metchie, also the African Director, International Association of World Peace Advocates, said that recent 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.
He said that the President’s assent to the Bill would empower officers and men of NHFSS and further motivate them to occupy strategic positions in the forests and farms.
He noted that one of the most sustainable ways to curb banditry, terrorism, kidnapping and other anti-people activities was to recruit, arm and empower young men and women as hunters and forest guards to make it difficult for criminals to operate from the forests, adding that, it would also help in reducing unemployment in the country.
According to him, the greatest legacy President Buhari would leave behind is to sign the bill into law to boost the fight against insecurity.
Metchie said, “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 close to the Territory.
“From the statement given by the FCT Police spokesperson, SP Josephine Adeh, the rescue was carried out by the Police in collaboration with other security operatives as well as hunters.
“It is, therefore, imperative that Hunters have become an 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 also contributing in 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 has been passed by the chambers of the National Assembly”.