The Borno State government says it has donated some parts of Sambisa Forest, an enclave of the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents for the establishment of the controversial Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) programme.
The state governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum made the decision public on Tuesday when he hosted the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Garbai El-Kanemi who paid him Sallah homage.
The governor said his government has also mobilized personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Agro Rangers and hunters to secure the large expanse of the forest and make it safe for the scheme.
He said the deployment of the Agro Rangers, vigilantes and hunters would cover the allocated area which covers six local government areas of Konduga, Bama, Gwoza, Chibok, Damboa and Askira/Uba.
Governor Zulum told the monarch that the state government would also deploy an Emergency Rapid Response Team (ERRT), comprising of about 500 security personnel to help protect commuters and rural dwellers against Boko Haram insurgents and bandits.
His words: “This administration is determined to strengthen the security architecture to encourage farming and herding activities across the state.
“We’re also distributing 80 patrol vehicles to the response team so that farmers, herders and commuters could move as well as travel within a radius of 30-40 kilometres of Maiduguri metropolis.”