Forest Guard

Forest Guard: Prioritize Recruitment of Forest Community Dwellers, Don’t Compromise Standard

Special Reports

The Northern Christian Youth Professionals (NCYP) commend President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for actively pursuing his campaign promise of revitalizing the Forest Guard to combat violent groups within our forests.

The recent directive to state governors to strengthen and arm the Forest Rangers in their respective states exemplifies the President’s dedication not only to his constitutional duties of providing security but also to addressing the unhumanitarian impact of banditry and terrorism on the people.

As ardent supporters of President Tinubu, especially for his commitment to revitalizing the Forest Guard as a vital strategy to end insecurity, the Northern Christian Youth Professionals emphasize the necessity of recruiting rural dwellers and forest community residents into the Forest Guard. Their extensive knowledge of the forest landscape is crucial for successfully combating bandits within our forests.

We earnestly implore President Tinubu not to compromise on this key aspect in strengthening the Forest Guard, as excluding these forest community residents would prove counterproductive. These individuals, predominantly rural dwellers with limited access to literacy skills, must not be overlooked, as it could hinder their optimal performance in carrying out their duties.

In line with our strong advice, NCYP urges that reading and writing skills be incorporated into the training program of Forest Guard recruits, alongside instilling the spirit of nationalism, citizenship, and patriotism.

This approach will empower Forest Guard members to approach their responsibilities with a nationalistic goal.

Recognising the national scope of the issue, the Northern Christian Youth Professionals reaffirm our preference for the Forest Guard to be revitalised as a federal-based agency rather than under the state government. This approach ensures harmony, and uniformity of purpose, commitment, and operation, preventing disparities in commitment levels among different states that could undermine the desired success of President Tinubu, the governors, and the people of Nigeria. However, since the President and our government have decided to keep it at the state government, we will give our utmost support.

President Tinubu and the governors must acknowledge that the prevailing security and economic challenges have elevated the Forest Guard to an integral part of our national security architecture, given its proximity to the grassroots. The Forest Guard’s role in gathering credible intelligence to enhance the effectiveness of other security agencies cannot be overstated.

Furthermore, NCYP highlights the critical role that the Forest Guard can play in addressing the current food security crisis. By securing our forests, farmers can regain access to their farmlands, contributing significantly to the cultivation of the 500,000 hectares of land made available by the President and the millions of direct and indirect employment it will create.

This itself is another security tool. While expressing our observations and recommendations, we acknowledge that the President and his team are yet to provide detailed plans for the setup of the Forest Guard to NCYP, as the foremost campaigner and advocate of the President’s Forest Guard manifesto and project.

We urge the government to make these details available privately given the security implications, this will provide room for more robust input and ensure transparency in the implementation of this critical initiative.

The Northern Christian Youth Professionals remains committed to actively engaging in initiatives that promote national security, unity, and prosperity.


Isaac Abrak

Chairman, Northern Christian Youth Professionals.


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