Zamfara Insecurity: Police Clash with Vigilante Group

By IFEANYICHUKWU NWANNAH

As  supremacy for  power in Zamfara  security  system rages on between the  Zamfara  Police Command  and the  State Vigilante group who are claiming to be giving  armed robbers fire for fire operation and stepping into every nooks and crannies of the State caring more about  the entire masses. But the police are alleged to be groping for their selfish interest caring less about the security of the common masses.  An overall calamity that bedevils the State today is lack of adequate security of lives and properties, which instead of promoting peace and understanding among the security agencies, power tussles ensued instead.  However, these wounds that tend to cripple the peaceful atmosphere of the State is displaying a clear picture of the whole scenario following the claim by the Vigilante group that the police have not arrested any single person regarding the operations of the armed bandits in the State, even as record shows that the Vigilante group is seriously dealing with the situation.   The group claims that they have arrested some suspected armed bandits and handed them over to the police for further investigations and prosecutions but neither were the suspects been taken to court nor prosecuted.
They  maintained  that some even escaped from the police custody, revealing that recently a suspected armed robber was arrested in Kaura Namoda and handed over to the police but the suspected armed robber escaped from the police custody; yet the police said they are still investigating the whereabout of the arrested suspect.
The Vigilante group said they have taken a drastic measure to reduce the increasing activities of armed robbery in the State.  The group gave the breakdown of how their members are being killed on daily basis.
According to the data in Maru Local Government area 58 members of their group were killed recently. In Dangulbi 20 people were killed, Lingado 18, in Kabaro 20, in Zurmi Local Government 10 were killed, in Birnin Magaji Makera 7 were killed.
In Shinkafi, the vigilante group said they apprehended two suspected armed robbers with a Golf car with registration number AH646 DRK, while one of them escaped and the one arrested has been handed over to the police. Also in Tsafe another AK47 with 19 live ammunitions and two magazines were recovered from them which they said have been handed over to the police. The report said in Kasuwa Daji two armed bandits were killed last week, adding that the leaders of the vigilante group were arrested by the police and the vigilante group members are still in police custody at the time of compiling this report.
The vigilante group said that they have shown the police the alleged suspects behind the killing including Isah Sarkin Yaki, Yauta Baki and Bala Maigora yet the police refused to arrest these people for interrogations but prefer to arrest the vigilante group leaders and detain them.
In Yanware Daji in Tsafe Local Government Area the vigilante chairman, vice chairman and secretary are still in police detention; in Nassarawa Godel, in Birnin Magaji Local Government area the group chairman and secretary are still in police custody.
DESERT HERALD investigations revealed that after the operations and as they share their booty, the alleged armed robbers would begin to open fire on themselves and the source said the police would begin to detain the vigilante leaders. The same source further hinted that last week the vigilante group apprehended a lorry load of grasses suspected to be Indian hemp which was equally handed over to the police with the suspects. The number of the lorry was given as XA857TAF. However the driver and five other suspects are guests to the state police command.
A retired soldier, who is also a member of the state vigilante group but pleaded anonymity, said that the police force was originally established as a police force responsible for keeping public orders. He said for long the credibility of the police has been put to question because they cannot perform hence the need for the vigilante groups.
Continuing, the source said that when the incessant killings were beyond the police, the state government then invited a famous armed robbers hunter, Ali Kwara, who apprehended most of the armed bandits and handed them over to the police for prosecution. He noted that before Ali Kwara agreed to honour the invitation he warned that he will not tolerate a situation where he would release criminals to the police and they will not be taken to court.  But it is over three months now and there is no record that the police has taken any of them to court. He submitted that during the raid by Ali Kwara, a police corporal was arrested who after interrogations confessed that he was dealing on AK47 and other dangerous weapons. He said he maintains a shop for the unholy business. When the shop was broke open over 30 AK47 guns and magazines and live ammunitions were discovered.
Another person interviewed said that it is so grotesque to believe that they are not happy with the presence of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the vigilante group in the security setup, submitting that since NSCDC members were given guns and ammunitions the police are not comfortable. They intend to dominate the security system.

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