The head of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, Navy Captain Umar Bakori (retired), has described as unnecessary calls for the creation of State Police, saying members of his group were already providing community policing across Nigeria.
Umar, who spoke to journalists on Tuesday in Abuja, said the recent passage of the VGN bill giving the group legal support was timely given the security challenges facing the country.
He said, “We don’t need State Police. Our main job is community policing, community services and maintenance of law and order and we all serve in our localities. We don’t transfer people from one state to another and we have our men in every state, Local Government and in every ward.”
According to the VGN boss, unlike other members of the security agencies who work to earn a living, Vigilantes are volunteers who have the passion to secure their neighbourhood, so are better equipped to fight crime.
“For us, we are volunteering even though we know we may be killed , no pension, no gratuity, this is the highest act of patriotism. We have spread across Nigeria, we have over one million members.
“I expect governors to use our men, we are ready to serve we have the advantage of our knowledge of our communities, we know all nooks and crannies, we know our terrain.
“In any local government you have ten policemen, I can guarantee you we have over 300 men and they are always ready to take you to where the crooks are hiding because we have the intelligence. We train our men to serve.”
The CG recalled the roles played by officers and men of the VGN in identifying the hiding place of the terrorists who attacked officers and soldiers of the Brigade of Guards in Bwari as well as the ongoing operation to free the remaining hostages the Edo train attack.
“We lost our commander in Bwari who was shot while assisting security agencies to locate the hideout of the criminals who committed the crime,” he noted.
The retired Navy Captain appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the bill into law. Signing the bill into law, said Umar, would underscore President Buhari’s commitment to securing Nigeria.
“We have come a long way since 2012 in making sure the bill passed all the stages. The President went through the bill the first time and identified 50 errors which have been corrected and the fresh bill passed by the National Assembly. We thank the President and the National Assembly for a very good job,” he declared.