In response to the litany of complaints of unwholesome activities of the Edo State Vigilante Service, the state’s Police Command has said that it had begun the process of streamlining the operations of the groups so that they could properly complement the police in checking insecurity in the state.
Speaking on a local radio station monitored in Benin City, the Edo Police Command Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Kotongs Bello, also said the police would soon begin the training of the vigilante groups at the Police Training School, which he said the state government was renovating to make training conducive.
He disclosed that the Assistant Inspector General of Police had directed that all vigilante members should be profiled by the Divisional Police Officers in their areas.
“We have directed their leaders to take them to the nearest Divisional Police Officer (DPO) for registration and profiling to ensure that those involved are not cultist and robbers who want to use the opportunity to bring their guns out and molest innocent people, we are not going to allow that”, the PPRO said.
“If any vigilante member commits any offence in a particular area, we will call the leader in that area to make enquiries, then such a person will be reported to the nearest DPO.
“We are calling on people with genuine intentions to join the vigilante groups and work with us, not those molesting people, not those carrying guns and hiding under the guise of vigilante to be robbing and molesting people, we don’t tolerate that. The essence of the vigilante is to work with the police and the police will supervise them”, Bello reiterated.
On the training, Bello said “Very soon, their training will commence, the governor is still working at the Ogida Police Training School and very soon maybe by next month, they will start their training. It is only the ones that have been confirmed, those ones that we are sure of their character that will be trained. That is what is in the pipeline now.”
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