Gov. Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger, on Tuesday, counselled 161 special vigilante corps on the need to exercise caution in their anti-banditry operations to enable them prevail.
Sani-Bello gave the advice while inaugurating the corps at the Niger Police Command Headquarters, in Minna, to complement the efforts of security agencies in the state.
The governor also provided operational vehicles and motorcycles to the corps at the occasion, to motivate them to succeed in their assignments.
He said that the vehicles and motorcycles were to assist them to coordinate security operations within Minna metropolis.
“I am happy with this development; the police have been working tirelessly day and night while battling with the bandits.
“While we are battling with the bandits, a new dimension in Minna came up, where some criminal elements are going about harassing students and people going about their legitimate businesses. This new dimension is unacceptable.
“After reviewing the situation, the police commissioner and the commissioner for local government came up with this integrated security outfit,” Sani-Bello said.
He said the state government would not allow bandits or groups of criminals to terrorise students and farmers in the state, while working to ensure a peaceful state where citizens would go about their legitimate businesses freely without fear.
He called on the corps to proceed with caution in their work, by protecting themselves against the criminals, who are both armed and dangerous.
Sani-Bello called on parents to caution their children and wards against getting involved in criminal activities.
Earlier, the Commissioner of Police, Mr Adamu Usman, noted that the special vigilante group comprise nine voluntary security outfits trained and integrated into the vigilante group.
He said that they are to specifically complement the efforts of security agencies in the state and also address cases of youth restiveness within Minna.
“This group will be incorporated into the vigilante, to assist in tackling criminals and will be supervised by the police.”
Alhaji Abdulmalik Sarkin-Daji, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, stated that each of the vigilantes had been issued with certificates of participation. (NAN)