By Jon Egie

In an increased effort to bursting crime and criminality, the Commissioner of Police in Delta State, Mr Aduba Ikechukwu has directed all communities in the state to form and strengthen vigilante groups.

The CP gave the directive in a meeting with all PCRC in the whole of Delta Central convened in Ughelli, Friday, May 4.

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In his brief during the meeting, the CP said the Delta State government was very concerned about the issue of vigilante, assuring that the State government has promised to give necessary assistance to the vigilante to ensure that they assist the police in combating crime.

Explaining that the vigilante is not in any way related to community policing, the CP cautioned that the vigilante members must be supervised by the police.

“Security is every body’s business and that is why every body must be involved” he said.

The CP also revealed that plans are on for the formation of a neighbourhood watch that will comprise of youths with at least School Leaving Certificate. The recruits of this body, he further informed, will be trained and given uniform to carry out their duties.

He appealed to ‘bad boys’ to change and turn a new leaf. “Change and leave violence but if you refuse to change I will pursue you. I am sounding this note of warning to the Kidnappers and Armed robbers, change otherwise we will catch you.”

He said the Delta state Police Command will carry out constant raid of flash points and joints of Indian hemp smokers and tasked the DPOs not to relent in that effort.

“DPOs, if you do not raid them, I will take it that you are part of them and you are destroying the society. Raid the flash points, all joints of Indian Hemp”.

For members of the vigilante, he said: “you know where the criminals are, if you know they are in the barracks reveal them”.

He assured members of the public and the vigilante of his support stressing that the era of apprehending a suspect, handing him over to the police and the police letting him off the hook after collecting money is over.
“If you catch a thief and you hand him over to the police and the police collect money and release the thief, come to the HQs, we will receive you.”

The CP agreed that there are bad eggs in the Police Force just as there are every where. But he urged the public not to blame the police for the presence of the bad eggs “rather blame yourself for allowing the wrong man to join the Force.

“I will not dip my hand into any dirty deal but my good works will provide for me. The community that is not ready to cooperate with the police will be left behind. Any traditional ruler who does not cooperate with the police will be reported to the governor. We want to carry out a mop up operation.

“Leave criminality, it will not help any body. If you allow thieves to take over your community it is your problem” the CP admonished.

“I have worked for over 35 years, if I buy a Jeep it is not a problem but when I drive my Jeep along the road, a young graduate will eye me with envy and make plans to own a Jeep over night. This is not good. It leads to crime.”

He loathed native doctors who he accused of aiding and abetting criminals. “They will tell you to bring your mother’s eye to get rich, they are deceiving you” he said and called on traditional rulers to monitor and call native doctors in their domain to order, “because native doctors have become a problem to security”.

The CP explained that the vigilante members will be allowed to carry arms but that the arms will be in the keep of the police. “No vigilante has right to detain any body, once you arrest a suspect take him to the police” he charged.

Mr Aduba Ikechukwu, Delta CP

Mr Aduba Ikechukwu, Delta CP

Appreciating the effort of th CP, the Area Commander of Ughelli, Mr Bassey Essien said the CP is mindful of the fact that policing is a function of the people in their effort to fight crime and improve their lot. He pleaded for partnership so that together, the police and the public can fight crime. He warned that the Delta State government’s pledge to fund the vigilante groups should not give any body the impetus to form vigilante group arbitrarily.

“There are standards that will be maintained in the nomination of a candidate who will be screened” He alerted that the police will not allow the ownership of any private army by any traditional ruler.

During a question and answer session, the CP expressed his satisfaction towards any policeman or vigilante who confirming an armed criminal, produces him dead not alive.

“If you an armed robber and you bring him to me alive, you have not done anything. Bring the dead body and you will get an award. Any man who carries a gun is dangerous. You know the criminals and the moment you say no to them it is over. As far as I am concerned, there is no mercy for criminal with a gun”