From Dan Amasingha, Minna
The community vigilante corps recruited by Niger state government to compliment security agencies to combat arms banditry have threatened to withdraw their services due to neglect by the state and local governments authorities.
The protest by the vigilante group in Mariga Local Government Area of Niger state is coming on the heels of the killing of six members by arms bandit in the area.
“We can’t be risking our lives for a government that does not appreciate our sacrifice but is lukewarm and non -challant towards our plight,”the group said.
The Vigilante members were protesting the killing of six of their members including the grand Commander, Dan Asabe Mariga and several others by bandits in an exchange of fire at Rafi Local Government Area.
The deputy Chairman of the group Tanko Maiyaki announced their position to newsmen at the resident of their deceased Commander in Mariga.
The deputy chairman appreciated all the people that have been trooping to the house to condole them over the loss of the fighter.
Malam Tanko Maiyaki lamented that his members were using local weapons and dane guns, which most a times got hooked during battle with bandits, thereby exposing their lives to serious danger and risk.
According to him unless and until government rose to the challenge of providing them with modern and sophisticated weapons, which would match that of bandits they will no longer exposure themselves to danger such as the one that led to loss of their members.
Earlier one of the sons of the deceased Commander and who was also part of the encounter Sunusi Aliyu attributed his father’s death in the hands of bandits to negligence.
“Government is not fully concerned with welfare of vigilante members and their families despite sacrificing their lives to save humanity”.
Ideally, he said education of children of the deceased ought to have been taken care of by the state alongside Mariga and Rafi Local government where they got a distress call of bandits attack only to go there and unfortunately met their untimely death.
District head of Mariga, Alhaji Ilyasu Ibrahim described the death of vigilante members as painful and sad stressing that during their life time, they contributed immensely towards protecting lives and properties of people of Mariga and some neighbouring Local Government Areas from Bandits and kidnappers terrorising the area.