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Faleke cautions Bello on dangers of arming vigilantes


James Faleke

Deputy governorship candidate in the 2015 elections in Kogi State, James Faleke, has advised Governor Yahaya Bello to tread softly in his quest to set up a vigilance group.

Faleke spoke recently during the commissioning of 90 shops for Aiyede Community in Kabba/Bunu Local Council.

He said he raised the issue because Bello might have good intentions for setting up the vigilance group to monitor crimes in the state.

He, however, pointed out that when it got to the extent of giving them arms, he had to advise him.

Faleke narrated how he went to Lokoja and saw the vigilante people carrying sophisticated weapons that were beyond their level.

“They require licence to carry those types of arms. I raised the alarm to let the government and the security agencies know that if anything happens, such guns cannot be retrieved and the bad eggs among them can use them to commit crimes.

“We draw example from what happened in the North East, I don’t want Kogi or any other state in the country to fall into that category.

“We have vigilantes in Lagos State, which we call Neighborhood watch, they don’t carry weapons but communications systems. They inform the police about developments in their areas,” he said.

He added that it would be better if Kogi adopts exactly that kind of arrangement.

Faleke pointed out that they would sensitise the people to remind them that in 2015 there was the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under Governor Idris Wada and they ran campaigns without any harassment.

“The All Progressives Congress (APC) also ran campaigns without any harassment and fight. There was no crisis and we ran the election without any crises whatsoever.

“So, if for any reasons, there is violence and crisis, the state government would be held responsible for not allowing peace to reign,” he added.

Faleke further said it was the reason they were telling the governor in advance that he would not be able to control the boys he was giving guns when the time comes and he might not also be able to retrieve the guns from them when he might not need them any longer.

He also sympathised with the state on the recent killings by alleged Fulani herdsmen in Kogi East and challenged the state government to critically examine the security issues raised.

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