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Hunters, Forest Security Service seek speedy passage of Establishment Bill

  • Our forests belong to hunters not criminals- Osatimehim

The Nigerian Hunters and Forest Security Service (NHFSS) has urged the House of Representatives to expedite necessary action on the process of concurrence on the Nigerian Hunters and Forest Security Service Establishment Bill, which had been passed into law by the Senate.

NHFSS also appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to give assent to Bill establishing the security outfit when eventually passed into law by the National Assembly and transmitted to the President.

The Commander-General of NHFSS, Mr Joshua Osatimehin, stated this on Thursday while speaking at the inauguration of the national headquarters of the security outfit in Abuja.

Osatimehin also disclosed that the organisation, in collaboration with the Police and other security agencies, has been helping to ensure security in forests nationwide.
He further expressed optimism that if the Bill establishing the outfit is signed into law, it would go a long way in strengthening its operations.

He said, “We have been rendering series of auxiliary services to the country. We have collaborated with the existing security agencies like the Nigeria Police, Civil Defence, Army and DSS to strengthen the internal security system.

“You will agree that as hunters, we are present in all the nooks and crannies of our forests and some of these social enemies – the criminals – have made the forest their place of hibernation. Signing our Bill into law will empower us to chase these criminals from the forests.

“The forests belong to hunters, not criminals. If our Bill is signed, that constitutional backup will strengthen our mode of operation to work with other security agencies to curb crimes and criminality in our ungoverned spaces which are majorly the forests, bushes and farmlands.”

Canvassing support for the security organisation, Osatimehin explained that a full deployment of Hunters Security Service was a better option, compared to establishing State Police.

He said, “Last year alone, we were trained by the Department of Training and Development, Force Headquarters, in lieu of managing security and security challenges in our forests. We have gone through all the Police training institutions in Nigeria. I see no reason why governors should leave this noble organisation and be forming their own.

“We have been trained, we are organised and we have our people in all the nooks and crannies, ranging from the unit level to the ward level, to the state level, to the zonal and national levels. I believe the Federal Government should take over this organisation and make it an agency of the government, to be commissioned into the national security system.”

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