The Nigerian Hunters Council (NHC) says the National Assembly is considering a bill that will transform local hunters into law enforcement officers like the police and the NSCDC.
On Monday, Commander-General of the council, Joshua Osatimehin, urged the parliament 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,” he stated at the end of a five-day capacity training for over 7,000 personnel of the NHC on corporate safety and conservation.
Speaking further, he noted, “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.”
Mr Osatimehin urged the government, given the current security challenges in Nigeria, “there is an urgent reason why Nigeria should incorporate the hunters’ council into the security architecture of the country.”
“We have had series of training 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,” he disclosed. “Also, the Nigerian Army was here too to lecture us on how hunters can play their role in tackling insecurity, especially in the forests.”
Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno underscored the importance of having local hunters in tackling insecurity.
Represented by his senior special adviser on security, Bello Matawalle, Mr Zulum pledged the support of the Borno government to the hunters to advance their cause. According to him, they know the terrain and can provide the required information to surmount the challenges posed by insecurity, especially in Borno.