Nigerian hunters say ‘bigger animals’ like bandits, kidnappers now their target
The Nigerian Hunters Council says bandits and kidnappers are the “bigger animals” they are currently targeting in the forests across the country.
Speaking with NAN on Tuesday in Abuja, Joshua Osatimehin, commander-general of the council, appealed to the national assembly to pass a bill seeking to establish the council lawfully.
Osatimehin said the bill, when enacted and signed into law, will enhance the council’s efforts in securing local communities across the country.
“There is a new approach to hunting activities; we are now hunting the bigger animals which are the bandits, kidnappers and other criminals who operate from the bushes,” he said.
“The bill which is sponsored by Sen. Olujimi Abiodun (Ekiti) and was presented to NASS in 2020, has passed first and second reading in both the senate and the house of representatives.
“It is geared towards enhancing the council’s efforts in rendering security services in bushes and local communities across the country.
“With headquarters in Abuja, commands in the 36 states of the federation, the FCT and volunteers who are mostly youths, NHC operates like a paramilitary organisation.”
The commander-general said the hunters encounter bandits and kidnappers in the bush but they do not have the mandate to arrest them.
“When we go into the bushes we come in contact with these criminal elements, but we don’t have the mandate to arrest them,” Osatimehin said.
“But if this bill can become a law, we don’t need to take authority from anybody to apprehend these criminals.
“If there is a legal framework backing our activities and logistics provided by the government, crime and criminality in the country will reduce.”