‘Transiting from Banditry ravaged to stable state in Katsina’

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Ibrahim Ahmad katsina is the Special Adviser to Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, on Security Matters. He spoke with reporters on the new volunteer corps to complement the efforts of security agencies in the state. ANDY ASEMOTA brings the excerpts
  The essence of the volunteer corps
This is part of Katsina State Government’s commitment under the leadership of Governor Aminu Bello Masari, as he had promised, to engage members of vigilante groups to assist in community policing. In the effort of security forces in containing crime and criminality in Katsina, we planned to recruit 3000 vigilante volunteers; we have done that of 1100 and the remaining 1900 are in the process now.
With the cooperation of Commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the agency has agreed to train our vigilante corps on community policing, intelligence gathering and unarmed combat.
The essence is to support them, to give them the needed impetus to be part of community policing effort of the state government and what the security agencies are doing in order to complement them. That is why they are gathered here from 34 local government areas across the state. They have been screened for the training to commence.
  Importance of community policing
Everybody can see it, community policing initiative is what makes the difference in modern day security containment initiative; most of the crimes we are facing are community based. These community volunteers you are seeing, go into the nooks and crannies of the state, they know where the criminal elements are.
 With the training they are given, everybody can see how Katsina is transiting from banditry to stable state where peace and prosperity is the key. So, as far as I am concerned, Katsina is going to transit from the challenges of banditry we are facing with these volunteers.
They have volunteered themselves. So, that is why the state government deems it fit they should be trained so as to fashion out their activities in conformity with the rule of law.
  Relationship between the volunteers and security agencies
The committee that we set up for their selection process comprised all
security agencies and traditional rulers in the state. In this process, we have chosen people that are credible, people that will not put Katsina to shame, people that will not go into illegal operations, and people that are graded and profiled. These are the people that we engaged and are going to be given training that will make them more civil in order to assist civil authority in security management.
 The training programme
It is one week intensive training on drills and security procedures for them to understand basic rudiments of community policing and intelligence gathering so that when they go back to their communities, they can assist the local policing efforts of security agencies.
There are females, boys and men of various ages and qualifications.
That is why we call them volunteer corps: people that have come out from various communities to volunteer in the community policing effort of the state government to complement what security forces are doing.
We appreciate their sacrifice because they have done the needful.
May God bless them, May God protect them for their sacrifices and we are assuring them that by special grace of God, this is just the beginning of the process. We thank them for their effort in trying to stabilize Katsina. In trying to ensure that Katsina is crime free, they want to bring development to Katsina, in fact they are our comrades. We are proud of them.
   Choice of Civil Defence to conduct the training
This is in order to follow due process; we don’t want to do illegal activities, that is why we applied through the normal process and we got approval so that we can do it in the most civilized manner without breaching the law.
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