Tony John, Port Harcourt
Vigilante groups in Rivers State have tasked the Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris to move to retrieve arms from the dreaded herdsmen, Boko Haram, and militant groups.
This comes as reactions from some quarters in Port Harcourt have faulted the decision, as the order would affect the fragile peace in the southeastern state .
This also comes in the middle of the Sate Police Command having given a 21-day ultimatum to all vigilante members to surrender their arms or face arrest and prosecution if caught.
Speaking in Port Harcourt, the leader of Diobu Vigilante Group (DVG), Victor Ohaji, said the order would affect communities that are facing cult-related activities, and described the IGP’s directive as anti-security.
Ohaji said it was inappropriate for the IGP to order that vigilante groups, whom he noted are helping the police and other security agencies, to give up their arms, stressing that is an affront on the fight for a crime-free society.
“It is not good for the vigilante groups to submit arms when we know that criminals in the state are armed with sophisticated weapons. It will affect security because we cannot go after criminals who have guns with sticks,” Ohaji complained.
“They that are giving this order have guns and security. It will affect common people who do not have money to provide security for themselves. They should also retrieve arms from herdsmen, Boko Haram and other criminal elements for us to have a crime-free nation,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Secretary of DVG, Prince Amatari, urged the IGP to review and rescind the order, adding that vigilante groups should be trained in security management and armed to support the police.