Last Monday during an exclusive interview with Navy Captain Abubakar Bakori Umar rtd, Commandant General of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, he told People’s Security Monitor crew the reasons why VGN is the most attached volunteer security body to the people, insisting that his men know the terrain far and more than the other sister bodies, which according to him explains the clamour for full para military status
Below is the full texts of the interview.
‘’The government has been quite positive about our Bill for recognition as para military body. As we speak, the Bill met all the requirements and passed through all the stages as spelt out in both the Senate and House of Representatives of the National Assembly. Except for few corrections as may be observed by the National Assembly members, but all these had since been rectified and the Bill has been sent to the Executive for ratification.
We are very optimistic that President Muhammadu Buhari would be kind enough to give it approval, to start complementing the efforts of other security agencies, especially as Nigeria at the precarious moment of Nigeria’s rising insecurity. I must say that we have quite inspired by immense support of Nigerians including the positive attitudes of quite a lot of National Assembly members such as immediate past Deputy Speaker, Honourable Lasun and his successor.
They have been major promoters and backers of the Bill, and we do trust on our President that he would be favorably disposed to the Bill.
The fact of the matter is that the business of security is so enormous that all hands must be on deck to tackle it without hesitation, and if this stands, it means that there is a huge shortfall in the number of security in Nigeria at the moment.
This explains why the government needs to formally accord the Vigilante Group of Nigeria the necessary recognition to enable join forces with other security agencies. Nigeria is a country with lots of peculiarities, especially as it bothers on its security architecture and other allied matters.
If must reckon with the current obtainable records, then Nigeria’s huge population should be accorded sufficient security personnel to protect the lives and properties of its citizenry. The number of security we presently have is obviously a far cry from what is needed to combat crime effectively in Nigeria.
The Vigilante Group of Nigeria is a valuable organization in so many ways. Firstly, we have over one million members across Nigeria. Our members are the closest to the people when it comes to security.
We are firmly rooted in all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria. We speak the language of the locals because we are part of them. We know the terrains and we are aware of the risks. Information gets to us first before it spreads to other places.
We know all the law abiding people in the community, and we quickly identify strange faces and movement.
It may interest you to know that in spite of our present status, we have been so cardinal in the areas of support international agency such as Red Cross Society. We provide back up security for them, mostly when they are to work in hinterlands in order to ward off bandits’s attacks.
We have also been complementing the efforts of the NDLEA officials we identify for them lots of farms where Indian hemp leaves are being planted and we also help handover drug dealers to them, because their staff strength could not just cope with burden of their job.
We are also doing great at numerous IDP camps all over the country complementing security measures. At the peak of ENDSARS protests, we were solidly on ground, especially at the community level to help avert what could have put the country into serious political crisis. Beyond this, our men also helped to track quite a lot of looted items the warehouses where they were hidden.
We are facing two major problems of finance and communication. We are mostly constrained by financial difficulties, but in spite of this we still manage and sustain our Commands in 37 states of Nigeria including the FCT.
Lots of things we would have loved to do to improve security situations more than what it is presently obtainable; but we are financially handicapped.
The GLO at a time attempted to sustain our communication capacity by giving us highly subsidized phone lines that could be used for a month with just N2,500.
We also face difficulties in sharing intelligence reports with the police because mostly they sit on or delay reports and there is no other official channel you can use to channel your reports.
Imagine a particular DPO confronting one of my local Commandants and told him he could not work with him despite the fact that the DPO was new in the area of his new assignment. So what do you make out of this?
However, it’s not bad cases all through; some other disciplined and security conscious policemen would always work with us. I remember a particular Police Commissioner who insisted all his DPOs must work jointly with men of Vigilante Group of Nigeria.
VIGILANTE GROUP OF NIGERIA DISCLAIMS ABUJA-BASED FAKE COMMANDANT GENERAL
The authority of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria under the leadership of its Commandant General retired Navy Captain Abubakar Bakori Umar on Monday disowned an Abuja based retired soldier who has been fraudulently parading himself as Commandant General of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria.
According to a statement from the headquarters of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, ”this fraudulent character has been going about scamming unsuspecting Nigerians including state governors who are unaware of his criminal activities under different fraudulent concepts.
Below is the text of the statement:
It has come to our knowledge the fraudulent activities of one Abuja-based retired soldier who has been parading himself as Commandant General of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria to unsuspecting Nigerians whom he has been extorting money from under different guises
Let it be known to members of the public particularly the Security Institutions that the only Vigilante Group of Nigeria known to the law and registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission is the only one being led by retired Navy Captain Abubakar Bakori Umar.
The authority of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria under the leadership of its Commandant General, retired Navy Captain Abubakar Bakori Umar, hereby urges members of the public to desist from having anything to do with this fraudulent character as far as the Vigilante Group of Nigeria is concerned.
We advise interested Nigerians and all stakeholders to always seek clarification from the authority of the Corporate Affairs Commission to authentic genuine leadership of VGN at all times.
However, we are pleased to inform members of the public that following our complaint, the EFCC has uncovered 57 illegal bank accounts opened with VGN’s name, these illegal bank accounts are still under investigation, among other criminal activities being perpetrated by the Abuja-based fake Commandant General and his cohorts.
It should be emphasized that VGN as a volunteer group established to assist other security agencies do not indulge in training its personnel, rather we send to them to various government security agencies for proper training as the case may require.
We hereby implore members of the public to swiftly report anyone caught operating outside the jurisdiction of retired Navy Captain Bakori-led Vigilante Group of Nigeria to the police for appropriate action.
Navy Captain Abubakar Bakori Umar (rtd) FSC, Mss, Dss, Psc, fndc, Msc
Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN)