Delta Police Command disbands vigilante, hurters groups

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The Delta State Commissioner of Police, CP Olufemi Abaniwonda, has announced dissolution of all community vigilantes group, hunter special forces, and anti-cult groups operating in the state.

The move aims to establish a more comprehensive screening process for engaging community members in these groups, it was gathered.

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CP Abaniwonda made the disclosure during an interactive session with stakeholders at Ughelli Area Command when he paid a familiarisation visit to the area.

He explained that the decision was based on directives from Delta State Governor, Rt. Hon. Sherrif Oborevwori, to enhance community policing effectiveness.

The CP acknowledged receiving numerous complaints about misconduct of members of these groups.

He emphasised that the planned reorganisation would involve a thorough screening process to ensure individuals with integrity and impeccable character are recruited.

“On the issue of misconduct of community vigilantes and hunters, the Governor has shown interest in this issue as well, and there’s already a directive on my table concerning it before leaving Asaba to ughelli,” CP Abaniwonda stated in his words “And when I return, we are going to be issuing directives to all the Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers on the pattern the process of screening would follow,” he said.

He emphasised the importance of involving community leaders, including president generals, community leaders, and the council of traditional rulers in the screening and selection process. This would ensure that credible individuals are chosen to protect their communities from external criminals.

CP Abaniwonda highlighted the need for due process in the selection process to ensure that community vigilantes, hunters, and anti-cult members have the empathy to defend their communities from criminals from neighbouring communities.

He contrasted this with the current situation where vigilantes from one community may collaborate with criminals from other places to operate in their area.

He urged president generals, community leaders, and the traditional council of chiefs to take the new process seriously, while also emphasiseing that the work of the vigilantes, hunters, and anti-cult groups is crucial for enhancing community policing and complementing the efforts of the police in protecting lives and property.

Regarding professional misconduct by police officers at checkpoints or during civil cases, CP Abaniwonda encouraged the public to utilise the Police Complaint Response Units available at various Area Commands to lodge complaints about perceived unprofessional behaviour. He assured the public of prompt action on such cases.

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