The Federal Government is to partner the United States of America (USA) California National Guards as it moves to contain growing security challenges, especially attacks by herdsmen and kidnapping in parts of the country.
Lt-Gen Abdulrahman Dambazzau (rtd), Minister of Interior, dropped the hint when US military team, led by Maj-Gen David Baldwin, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja on Tuesday.
The minister disclosed that, as part of the agreement, the California National Guard would be training a detachment of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Agro Rangers.
Other agencies under the Interior Ministry, he said, would also benefit from the training on disaster management, also to be undertaken by the National Guard.
He said: “We want to seize this opportunity to express our gratitude on behalf of all the services under the ministry, for meeting with some of them and even offering to assist with some logistics to enhance their operations.
“Part of what we want you to do, particularly to the Civil Defence you met today, is to create what we call Agro Rangers because of the incessant clashes we have between the farmers and herdsmen and the constant kidnapping we have in the country.
“We intend to provide adequate security that will help those that invested in agriculture to continue with their activities. We will want you to assist other agencies like the Fire services, Immigration, and Prisons in terms of training and logistics.
“We, at the ministry, focus on policies that will enhance the internal security of the country and we want to seek your collaboration at that level to see how we can manage our efforts towards security sector reforms.
“The restated need to reform the security agencies to enable them respond to emerging challenges, including flooding, that yearly ravage communities along river belts.
“It is very important we reform our security sector to meet up with challenges of modern times. As you know, we have challenges of insurgency and terrorism which is a global issue. We should be able to collaborate with you on these issues.
“Beyond that, I am sure that there are other things we can do together. National Guard is very important in the USA, especially as it focuses on disaster management.
“We hope to leverage on the experiences you used in managing hurricane in the USA to manage disaster like the flooding we experienced this year in Nigeria.”
Earlier, General Baldwin said the National Guard is glad to be of assistance, especially in training personnel involved in fighting insurgency and other areas of interest.
“We are very proud of the progress you have made in the service to humanity. There has been a strong relationship between the ministry and the US National Guard.
“We are here to explore other areas of partnership that will be of mutual benefit to us and to the people of Nigeria. We are interested in the training of personnel, especially those involved in the fight against insurgency and disaster management.
“We are here to dialogue and explore opportunities we can work together, particularly in the areas of ICT and disaster response. We look forward to working with you,” he said.