Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State has banned self-styled vigilante groups from operating in the state.
The governor said the move was in a bid to further strengthen the efforts made towards curbing banditry and sundry crimes bedeviling the eastern flank and other parts of the state.
Muhammad Bello, Special Adviser Media and Publicity to Governor Tambuwal in a statement issued on Tuesday indicates that, instead, citizens desirous of contributing their quota to the fight against criminals and criminalities have been advised to join legitimately constituted vigilante groups that would from now on operate under the supervision and direction of the state Police Command as well as other security outfits in the state.
He added that, already the state Police Command has commenced the training of legitimately constituted vigilante groups in the state preparatory to signing of the law.
According to the statement, “Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state made this known on Monday while signing into law the “Yan Sa Kai [Self-Styled Vanguards] (Prohibition] Order 2021,” at a stakeholders security meeting held at the Sultan Maccido Institute for Qur’anic and General Studies, Sokoto.
The order while outlawing, “the organization, operation, and activities of ‘Yan Sa Kai’,” stipulates that any contravention shall be “punished in accordance with the provisions of the Penal Code Law 2019.”
“Consequently, any convicted offender of section 4 (a,b,c and d) shall be guilty and liable to conviction to a fine of N500,000.00 or imprisonment for a term of 14 years or to both,” he said.
According to the statement, Section 5 of the law also provides that, “any person who while in public has with him offensive weapons or missiles, other than in pursuance of lawful authority, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of N200,000.00 or imprisonment for a term of 7 years or to both such fine and imprisonment.”
The statement added, “We know the history of banditry and what happened in Zamfara and the role of ‘Yan Sa Kai, which they are still playing in Zamfara state; and, how that exacerbated the security situation in Zamfara State.”
Tambuwal stressed that government must be proactive in training, re-training and empowering the vigilante to make sure that they work hand-in-hand with the established security agencies as recognized by the law.