Abia state recruiting ‘Able-bodied’ vigilantes

In the wake of the outbreak of violence in Aba, Abia state, between Igbo butchers and Hausas as well as the growing threat of Fulani herdsmen, the state governor has instructed traditional rulers to submit names of 10 able bodied men in their community to serve in the state vigilante force.

Godwin Adindu, Chief Press Secretary to the Abia Government, also said a conflict resolution committee to mediate between Fulani herdsmen and farmers  – has been set up in the state.

“All Traditional Rulers in the state have been directed to submit names of 10 able-bodied youths from their community to the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs from Tuesday 10th toWednesday 11th May 2016. These youths will be enlisted into the Abia State Vigilante Services (AVS) to further boost community policing in the state.”

What now: Kudos to the Abia state governor on this action, however, the state vigilante service must be tasked and trained with respecting the fundamental human rights of citizens. The government should also establish a commission where citizens can report vigilante members that violate their rights.

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