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Senate raises the alarm, says Kogi’s vigilance group now a militia

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Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello

The Senate was alarmed yesterday that the Kogi State government has arbitrarily signed into law the establishment of an armed vigilance group with the mandate of protecting lives and property from the Nigeria Police Force.

This controversial enactment was said to have contravened the law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by usurping the primary responsibility of the police.

The red chamber on this premise has mandated its committees on security and intelligence and judiciary to meet with the National Security Adviser, Mohammed Babagana Monguno to disband the group.

Vigilance groups are found all over the country and have provided needed support to security agencies in tackling crime.

These resolutions were sequel to an adopted point of order 42 and 52 raised by Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West who in plenary reported that the Kogi State government has a plan and action to introduce state police through the back door.

Melaye brought to the attention of the Senate that there was a proposed law by the state, which has been signed into law by Governor Yahaya Bello.

He affirmed that the law was made to establish a vigilante service group in the state.

His words: “Mr. President, I have a copy of the law here which is already a law of the Kogi State government. By the time I perused this law, this law is in conflict with the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“ It says, the vigilante group will be involved in the detection and prevention of crime, the apprehension of criminals, the preservation of law and order, the protection of life and property, will assist other security and para-military agencies in the discharge of their duty, to assist other security agencies in government installation, to assist other security agencies in maintaining law and order in any economic, political and social gathering.

“There shall be a comptroller-general of vigilante services and, deputy comptroller-general of vigilante services.”

He reminded the senate that this was how Boko Haram started. He said the group was being equipped to wreck havoc on the unsuspecting innocent citizens.


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