EDITORIAL: Need For Forest Rangers

EDITORIAL: Need For Forest Rangers
  • PublishedMay 2, 2023


IT can be interpreted that the terrorists took a sabbatical during the election cycle and are now back in full force, unleashing carnage with noticeable rage in Southern Kaduna State, Benue, Plateau, amongst other places. The nightmare is back with a vengeance.

The incoming government has its work out. It starts with a strategic review of the war against the barbarians. Gains have been made but it is a long way from achieving the decisive lethal blow vitally required. 

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The issue of ungoverned spaces and what to do about them in flushing out the marauders is now of critical importance. The spaces without formal state presence are vast. Often cited is the Sambisa forest which is the size of a sovereign state – Belgium.

Forest rangers

It is the largest of many ungoverned spaces indicating the magnitude of the problem. Unfortunately, no amount of aerial attacks alone can do the job, we have to bring in specialised forces.

Key here will be Forest Rangers. That we are actually talking about Forest Rangers at this stage says a lot about the structural dysfunction of the country. This is a fall out of the abrogation of the federalist constitutional arrangement we once had.

There is no other federal set up in which large spaces become unaccounted for by the State; the sub-nationals should have their forest patrols in charge. This is the reality in Canada which has its famous counties on patrol, Australia, Brazil, the United States of America and so forth. We had them established and demonstrably effective when we had the regional governments.

They must be reactivated as part of special forces needed to flush out the terrorists. There is no alternative! Forest Rangers to state the obvious know the terrain and will be of crucial importance in reconnaissance, offence and defence.

They will work hand-in-glove with the regional security outfits such as Amotekun and the governors of the states must be involved in operational decisions and control. We have to accept that unconventional warfare has its own modus operandi. 

With increased spending on defence amidst what is looking like technically insolvency, the war on terror must now be won with new cost effective strategies. 

The Forrest Rangers have to be rebuilt, trained and brought into play, there is no alternative.


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