The newly deployed Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Don Awanah, explained that the existing vigilante groups in the state are not viable alternative to the Nigerian Police Force, but mere individuals who assist in curbing crimes.
Mr. Awanah, deployed from the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) of the Force Headquarters, Abuja takes over from the outgoing Mr. UmbuA Asaqua.
He warned that members of the vigilante groups, should not turn themselves into lords and thin gods, but rather, they should see themselves as agents of peace.
He said; “I have come to Bayelsa state with the philosophy of people-oriented policing, which will adhere strictly to the ideals of community policing in fighting crime because, no matter how well armed, exposed, educated and experienced a security personel is, without the people behind you, you can not succeed in fighting crime.
“The springing up of vigilante groups in community policing, is a good one but their activities would be measured, controlled, checkmated and also keyed into abiding by the rules of engagements, in line with the police act.
He adds; “Community vigilante groups are to compliment the police in having a better and safe society with the permission of the Force to operate, as the police officers are vulnerable men in uniform,” he added.
Don Awuna said, community policing will be done with display of professionalism, transparency, honesty and dedication to duty to bring peace, security and community tranquility.
BY DANIEL DOMOTIMI, YENAGOA