Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, on Tuesday, formally proscribed local community vigilance group known as Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF).
Similar vigilance groups proscribed included Kato da Gora, Jarumai da Gora, Yan Tuba, among others.
They were replaced with Kaduna State Vigilance Service (KADVS).
Speaking at official launch of KADVS, Governor el-Rufai, represented by his deputy, Barnabas Bala Yusuf, said police and other security agencies had been advised to arrest any group operating under the proscribed vigilantes.
According to the governor, “The law has no space for Vigilante Bodies like the Kato da Gora, Civilian JTF, CESSCUR, Neighbourhood Watch, Vigilante Group of Nigeria, Extreme Security, Jarumai da Gora, Yan Committee, Ujumeme, Yan Tuba and others.
“Government has advised the Nigeria Police and other Security Agencies to arrest and prosecute any person operating under any of these bodies. People who used to belong to these bodies are hereby called upon to join hands with the Kaduna Vigilance Service forthwith.
“There should be no doubt of our commitment to making the Vigilance Service successful. In the interest of the safety of our people and their neighborhoods, I hereby launch the Kaduna State Vigilance Service, and accordingly, present the Service Flag to the Commander as the Symbol of Authority.
“Therefore, in 2016, the Kaduna State Government established the Vigilance Service by law. The purpose of the Kaduna State Vigilance Service is to complement the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies operating in the State in the detection and prevention of crimes in our neighbourhoods and communities.
“Officers of the Kaduna State Vigilance Service will work closely with the Nigeria Police, the Civil Defence, the State Security Service and the Military, particularly in areas of intelligence sharing.
“This government is committed to stopping the hoodlums and miscreants that menace our urban centres, and the bandits that threaten peace and harmony in our rural communities.
“The security agencies have effected mass arrests of these urban hoodlums, and we hope that the judicial process metes out appropriate punishment to them.
“This government will not allow any illegal group to use the provision of security as cover to perpetrate mayhem. May I use the formal launch of the Kaduna State Vigilance Service to warn that this service is established by law is the only state government owned and recognised security body. We call for the utmost public cooperation with its officers.
“The Vigilance Service has been established to help improve security in our neighbourhoods, putting more on the ground to deter and respond to threats.
“In establishing a Vigilance Service, the Kaduna State is once again making a concrete investment in securing its people. The Vigilance Service will complement the existing security and law enforcement agencies which are all federal assets.
“The Kaduna State Government has consistently supported these agencies, from providing vehicles, and other assistance, to actually funding operations undertaken by these federal assets.
“Judging from the wide coverage, security is one of the big challenges of our time. Yet any familiarity with the issue, beyond the headlines that tell painful stories of loss, injury and sometimes displacement, is the cold fact that our police is undermanned. As a consequence, our country is so severely under-policed that the gaps are too easily exploited by criminals.
“While waiting for critical policy changes like funding a mass recruitment of police officers and decentralising the police, we must take steps within the law to strengthen security in our state, coupled with supporting the work of the federal police,” he said.
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