Niger State Government has announced the formal proscription of all groups and individuals engaged in the use of dangerous weapons in the state.
Speaking while inaugurating 330 Vigilante Group trained by the Chanchaga Local Government Council, at the Bako Kontagora Memorial Stadium, Minna, Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu disclosed that the ban became necessary in order to inject sanity and bring an end to the activities of thugs and hoodlums who were terrorizing innocent people.
He stated that government had banned all groups engaged in the use of dangerous and unlawful weapons in the state and warned that any group disguising in whatever name must go and register their weapons with the police adding that anybody caught carrying unregistered weapons would be liable for arrest and prosecution.
Governor Aliyu told the vigilantes that they were not a firearm carrying outfit stressing that if it became necessary for them to carry weapons, they must register such weapons with the police. He said their mandate was to assist the police in intelligence gathering, arrest criminals and hand them over to the police for prosecution.
The Governor stated that the vigilantes would be assigned to protect public properties and urged them to be law abiding.
He commended the Chanchaga Local Government for training the vigilantes and recommended that they should be further trained every six months in order to get the best out of them.
Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu used the forum to call on parents to be alive to and not give up on ensuring the proper upbringing of their children in order for them to become useful and respected members of the society.
Governor Aliyu commended the State House of Assembly for passing into law the vigilante bill as well as the ban on the activities of groups engaged in the use of dangerous weapons, otherwise known as ‘Yan Daba and directed that the law be printed and distributed to all local Government Councils to domesticate and use it to inaugurate its own vigilante group.
While congratulating the vigilantes, the Governor charged them to live above board and not to be seen to break the law themselves. He directed that the Ward Development Committees (WDC) be trained also in terms of intelligence gathering to complement the security agencies at that level.
In his remarks, the Chairman of Chanchaga Local Government Council, Alhaji Yakubu Sallau disclosed that the vigilante had a month training to assist the police in fighting crime adding that they would be provided with communication gadgets to facilitate their work.
The Commissioner of Police, who was represented by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Malam Abdulmumini Mohammed Gimba advised the vigilantes against establishing separate cells to try offenders but should hand them over to the police adding that the police and vigilantes would collaborate and strategize on how to effectively carry out their jobs.
There were goodwill messages from the Emir of Minna, Dr. Umar Faruk Bahago; representative of the Community Intelligence Unit, Malam Aminu Awal Alkali; Alhaji Danladi Zugu as well as representative of women, Hajiya Jummai Ja’afaru.