Hunters under the umbrella of the Nigerian Hunters Council (NHC) has classified bandits and kidnappers as “bigger animals”, vowing to go after them in the forests across the country.
Speaking through their Commander-General, Joshua Osatimehin, the hunters said they encounter bandits and kidnappers in the bush but they do not have the mandate to arrest them.
They, therefore, called on the National Assembly to pass a bill seeking to establish the council lawfully.
Osatimehin, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday, said, “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.
“When we go into the bushes we come in contact with these criminal elements, but we don’t have the mandate to arrest them.
“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.”
The Commander-General further stated that the bill, when enacted and signed into law, will enhance the council’s efforts in securing local communities across the country.
“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 organization,” he said.