Insecurity: "We must Incorporate Vigilantes into Our Security architecture" - Arase - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Insecurity: "We must Incorporate Vigilantes into Our Security architecture" - Arase


The Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Dr. Solomon Arase has emphasized the importance of incorporating the activities of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, VGN with that of the Nigerian Police Force.

Arase spoke at the National Vigilante Conference 2023, with the theme: “Mobilising Vigilante Group of Nigeria Members for Improved Security in Schools, Farmlands and Roads” held in Abuja.

Stressing the importance of vigilantes in Nigeria, Arase noted that no country can overcome social disorders without the help of those at the grassroots. 

He also hinted at meeting with the Inspector General of Police, to host a joint-workshop with the VGN for better community policing.

Speaking extensively, the PSC Chairman said, “All the security agencies put together, if you consider the land mass of Nigeria, no security force will be able to dominate the security space, none. 

“When you are talking about security, there are two things that come to mind of countries that have been able to deal with issues of banditry and terrorism, the first is dominance of the security space.

“Number two is visibility. How visible are the security agents, how can they cover the land space in this country. This conference has given us the opportunity to start the conversation of how we can incorporate the VGN into the security architecture of Nigeria.

“As the IGP in 2015, I convoked a security summit in which former President Muhammadu Buhari was a member, he was the special guest of honour, he came to deliver the lead paper.

“The argument that time, was since we don’t have the numeric strength to dominate the security space, what do we do? The answer was, to rely on non-state actors. And the vigilantes are of one of the very necessary non-state actors that we require. 

“The big question is, who understands the socio-economic environment in which they are policing more, it is the people who are domiciled in those areas. 

"Those are the best people that can police the country and since the vigilantes draw strength from across the 36 states of the federation, all we have to do is to say can we have a conversation with the security agencies, especially the police, to incorporate you into their community policing policy.

“The danger of not incorporating the vigilantes is that they must be compensated, even though they are patriotic enough to secure their communities without pay.

“We should be able to appeal to patriotic Nigerians to see how they can be able to key into this your initiative, to see how we can encourage the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, even if it is to buy whistles, bikes, shirts for them or any other incentives.

“What we have to do is that since the Police Act of 2020 has already said community policing should be encouraged from the local government, state and national level, we need to see how we can incorporate the activities of the vigilantes, because they have the numeric strength.

“After this, I will meet with the IGP to see how we can have a joint workshop with the Police and the VGN because then we will now be able to demarcate our boundaries, know what and what not we are supposed to do and collaborate.

“There is no country that has been able to deal with social disorder without having the requisite information that is possessed into intelligence. So, it is important we collaborate with the vigilantes”.

Speaking in the same vein, National Chairman/Commander General, VGN, Navy Captain Umar Bakori (rtd), stressed the importance of security of farmers and their farmlands.

He said, “As an agricultural nation, the productivity of our farmlands directly impacts our economy and food security.

"Our farmers, who toil day and night to feed the nation, face numerous challenges such as theft, destruction of crops, and attacks from bandits. 

"By mobilizing our vigilante members, we can provide a protective shield around our farmlands, ensuring that our farmers can work without fear and that Nigeria’s agricultural potential can be fully realized.

“We must strengthen our ties with law enforcement agencies, educational institutions, farmers’ associations, and transport unions. 

"By fostering partnerships, sharing information, and conducting joint operations, we can amplify our impact and create a united front against criminal elements”.

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