The Kaduna State Government on Tuesday banned the activities of the Civilian JTF across the 23 Local Government Areas of the state.
The state government said the newly inaugurated Kaduna Vigilance Service will replace the group which has been helping the police combat crimes in communities across the state.
Governor Nasir El’Rufai made the announcement at the Vigilance Service inauguration held at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House in the state.
The governor, represented by his deputy, Barnabas Bantex, expressed his administration’s readiness to fight crime in the state.
He said the Vigilance Service has been established to help improve security in the neighbourhoods by ”putting more (efforts) on the ground to deter and respond to threats”.
The Vigilance Service will complement the existing security and law enforcement agencies which are all federal assets, the government said.
The governor said Officers of the State Vigilance Service will work closely with the Nigeria Police, the Civil Defence, the State Security Service and the Military, particularly in areas of intelligence sharing.
“This government is committed to stopping the hoodlums and miscreants that menace our urban centres, and the bandits that threaten peace and harmony in our rural communities.
“The security agencies have effected mass arrests of these urban hoodlums, and we hope that the judicial process metes out appropriate punishment to them,” he said.
Mr El’rufai further added that his government will not allow any illegal group to use the provision of security as cover to perpetrate mayhem.
He warned that the service is established by law as the only state government owned and recognised security body.
“We call for the utmost public cooperation with its officers. The law has no space for Vigilante Bodies like the Kato da Gora, Civilian JTF, CESSCUR, Neighbourhood Watch, Vigilante Group of Nigeria, Extreme Security, Jarumai da Gora, Yan Committee, Ujumeme, Yan Tuba and others,” he said.
The Governor advised the Nigeria Police and other Security Agencies to arrest and prosecute any person operating under any of these bodies.
“People who used to belong to these bodies are hereby called upon to join hands with the Kaduna Vigilance Service forthwith,” he said.
‘Commander in Chief’ of the State Vigilance Service, Mohammed Ali said the Service is taking off ”when Nigeria is becoming a playground of carnage, insurgency, gang violence and acts of political rascality”.
According to him, the members of the service will not be used as political thugs.
He also said ”they are men of integrity,” even as he urged members of the banned civilian JTF to ”join hands with the service for a better Kaduna State”.
Mr Ali said anybody found in possession of weapons in the name of JTF will be arrested and handed over to police for prosecution.
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