Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima saturday created â€˜The Neighbourhood Watchâ€™ to checkmate insecurity in the state.
According to him, the outfit would be saddled with preventing security breaches in their immediate environment. He said the state was establishing a pilot scheme for Maiduguri Metropolitan Council and Jere local government, both of which comprise of Maiduguri city, the state capital.
He said this was in fulfilment of one of the constitutional obligations as a government as contained in section 14 sub section 2 paragraph A of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which provided that: â€œthe security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.â€
The governor said during the launch of the scheme, that the role Civilian JTF has played in complementing the efforts of the Nigerian Armed Forces in the restoration of peace in the state deserved tribute and commendation.
He said it was in recognition of the voluntary efforts and sacrifices of the Civilian JTF that gave birth to the Neighbourhood Watch, which is now bound by law.
He said all the recruited CJTF should restrict themselves only to their respective neighbourhood without any interference with the other neighbourhoods to ensure issues of drug abuse, burglary, theft, vandals and other crimes were checked based on the established mechanism drawn for the CJTF to operate by arresting and handing over culprits to the nearest police station or law enforcement agents.
Shettima however warned the CJTF to conduct themselves respectfully and not to misuse the legal power given to them to molest, embarrass or humiliate members of the public.
The coordinator of the scheme, who is also the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Kaka Shehu Lawan, in his remark said the scheme was initiated following the circumstances that led to the emergence of the CJTF and their contributions to the counter terrorism operations in the state.
He noted that the CJTF as a voluntary group that emerged as a self defence mechanism without any legal framework but because of the important role the vigilante group play having been accepted by the conventional security organisations as a useful partner in the fight against terrorism and other crimes, the state government deemed it necessary to give the CJTF a legal backing with the passage of the Borno State Vigilante and Youth Empowerment Agency Law.