1. His Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State;
2. The Right Hon. Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly;
3. The Hon. Chief Judge of Nasarawa State;
4. Principal Officers and Members of the State House of Assembly;
5. Members of the State Executive and Security Councils;
6. The Secretary to the Government of Nasarawa State;
7. The Head of the Civil Service;
8. The State Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC);
9. Special Advisers;
10. Permanent Secretaries;
11. His Royal Highness, Hon. Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad I JSC (Rtd) Emir of Lafia and Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs;
12. Chairmen and Chief Executives of Commissions, Boards and Parastatals;
13. Chairmen of Local Government Councils and overseers of Development Areas;
14. Gentlemen of the Press;
15. Ladies and gentlemen.
I am delighted to address you today on the occasion of the inauguration of the Committees to constitute the Volunteer Guard (Vigilante) and Domestication of Model Penal Code, 1960 (as amended in 2015), as well as assenting to the Nasarawa State Kidnapping Act Prohibition Law and the Protection and Implementation of the Child’s Right Protection Executive Order.
2. You would recall that in furtherance of our commitment to complement the efforts of our security Agencies in securing lives and property to ensure that emerging crimes and criminality are curtailed and contained, I directed the Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice to put in place necessary machinery for the constitution of Volunteer Guard (Vigilante) for the State and the Local Government Areas. This is in line with the domestication of the amended Model Penal Code of Northern Nigeria 2015. Having carried out the necessary processes in tune with the Court, we are gathered here today to witness the inauguration of the Nasarawa State Volunteer Guard which Executive Order I signed moment ago to give it effect.
3. As you are aware, during the recently concluded Security Summit for the North-Central Zone, the security architecture of the Zone and by extension, our dear country was appraised and recommendations made towards the enhanced security of our people. At that Summit, the issue of community policing was extensively deliberated and appropriate measures proffered to address the security challenges for the continued sustenance of peaceful co-existence among the diverse ethnic nationalities, not only in the region, but in the country at large.
4. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is against this background that we resolved to take deliberate steps in order to secure our environment to rise up to crime and criminalities to ensure that law and order are maintained at all times for the socio-economic development of our dear State.
5. I need to state that this measure is imperative in developing the policy framework for security sector reform, with a view to incorporating security actors in the formal and informal sectors including the community policing into the national security architecture. In this regard, the Volunteer Guard (Vigilante) is expected to complement the effort of the State Security Agencies, especially in the rural areas to respond effectively and adequately in the emerging security situations. Most importantly, it will help the State at all levels to rebuild and reinforce its law enforcement and security provisioning capacity through the partnership of the Nigeria Police Force with the community and all other stakeholders in order to make Nasarawa State a secured place.
6. It is pertinent to note that, this country is contending with a lot of security challenges, ranging from bomb explosions, armed robbery, human trafficking, kidnapping and abduction, murder, activities of Boko Haram sect, communal clashes and conflict between farmers and herdsmen, among others. Indeed, crimes and criminality have led to the proliferation of small arms and light weapons which are freely used by unpatriotic elements to achieve heinous and selfish aims. This unpleasant development has become worrisome and a cause for concern not only to the security agencies but to all and sundry.
7. I need to state that the Nasarawa State Kidnapping Act Prohibition Law was extensively deliberated and passed by the State House of Assembly. This bill spelled out various offences relating to kidnapping and prescribed stringent punishment for perpetrators, such as life imprisonment and dead penalty. In the same vein, it is important to note that buildings used in keeping victims of heinous crimes will henceforth be forfeited to Government.
8. It is worthy of note that Nasarawa State has domesticated the Penal Code Law of Northern Nigeria to enforce law and order by retaining most of the criminal law doctrines in the State without much alterations.
9. As part of today’s occasion, we are also gathered to assent to the Protection of Children and Implementation of the Child’s Right Protection Executive Order, 2005 of Nasarawa State pursuant to section 5 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended. This will guarantee the safety, security, wellbeing, care, good health and education, as well as guarantee the future of our children.
10. Without sounding immodest, this Law apart from the prohibition of street begging, provides punishment for parents who out of irresponsibility threw away their children to street begging. In this regard, Government has taken measures to enroll our children into Tsangaya Schools with a view to addressing the menace.
11. Let me state that members of these Committees were selected based on their records of experience, professionalism, patriotism and pedigree. I charge you, therefore, to live above board and justify the confidence Government reposed in you. You must carry out your assignment diligently, devoid of any sentiment or favouritism.
12. I need to point out that the Commissioner of Police will chair this all important Committee. Other Members include heads of security agencies and other stakeholders in the State. To ensure the effective take off of this outfit, the Chairmen of Local Government Councils are hereby directed to constitute coordinating Committees comprising of Security Agencies and other Stockholders at the Local Government and Development Areas levels of the State to ensure the execution of this project. Accordingly, I appeal to our Traditional Rulers, Religious and Community Leaders to support this initiative for the good of all.
13. Let me take the liberty of this occasion to state that the State Volunteer Guard is not a security outfit and should not be used under whatever guise to promote or protect personal interest and inclination, it is essentially empanelled to complement the security agencies in the conduct of their onerous responsibilities of protecting the lives and property of the citizens.
14. On this note, it is my pleasure to inaugurate the Committees to constitute the Volunteer Guard (Vigilante) and Domestication of Model Penal Code, 1960 (as amended in 2015), as well as assent to the Protection and Implementation of the Child’s Right Protection Executive Order and Nasarawa State Kidnapping Act Prohibition Law.
15. Thank you and may God bless us all.