Barkin Ladi, Jos, Nigeria- Members of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, Barkin Ladi Division, mount a pickup truck at their base before leaving for patrols and checkpoint duties in Barkin Ladi, Nigeria on Monday, October 22, 2018. Growing animosity between ethnic groups coupled with a lack of security has fomented this increase in violence in recent years. Despite the divisive chaos engulfing the Middle Belt of Nigeria, a group of multi-ethnic men and women, part of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, are providing much needed security and trust to all groups affected by the conflict.(Jane Hahn for the Washington Post)

Residents of Kpaduma II and Guzape, suburbs within the Asokoro area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have called on the Minister of the FCT, Nyesom Wike, to empower local vigilantes to enhance security in their community.

Representing the community, the Secretary, Simon Yerima Baba (JP), emphasized this request during an interview in Abuja, coinciding with a community-led initiative to cut down banana trees that were being used as hideouts by criminals. Baba explained that these efforts are part of the community’s support for Minister Wike, who also resides in the area, in his mission to rid the community of hoodlums.

Baba noted that the criminals invading the community are not local residents but outsiders, stressing that the original inhabitants of Kpaduma II and Guzape are peaceful and law-abiding citizens. He praised President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the FCT Minister for their remarkable progress across the FCT, especially in developing the road network. Baba expressed the community’s confidence in Minister Wike, praying for continued wisdom and success in his endeavors.

Chief Bitrus T. Yakubu, the Village Head of Guzape, urged the government to reconsider the policy of integrating the original inhabitants of Abuja. He called for a review to ensure fair compensation and respect for their ancestral home, in accordance with the law.

Ezra Kaura, the Youth Leader of Kpaduma II and Guzape, highlighted the efforts of the community’s vigilante team, which he leads. The team patrols the area both day and night to maintain security. Kaura, a resident for the past 26 years, affirmed that the local youths are not involved in the criminal activities, as he personally knows all the youths in the community. He appealed to the Minister to provide a patrol vehicle to enhance their response time to crime scenes.

Mrs. Hassana G. Simon, Vice Women Leader of the community, emphasized the need for youth empowerment to prevent idleness. She pointed out that many of the community’s youths are graduates but lack meaningful employment opportunities.

Mr. Isah Bulus, another community resident, called for a dialogue between the residents and the FCT Minister to ensure smooth and effective governance in the community.


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