Aug. 30, 2013
Vigilantes popularly known as “Civilian JTF” yesterday appealed to the Borno Government to facilitate the payment of monthly allowances to them to encourage their activities.
Some of the members told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri that the gesture would boost their morale in ensure security in the state.
Mallam Adam Shitu, a member of the group in Gidan-Dambe, said he had to combine his vulcanising job with that of the vigilance service.
“Most often, I have to abandon my job to help in checking the activities of members of Boko Haram. But I must provide food to my family. Sometimes I have to beg friends or relatives to feed the family,” Shitu said.
“I think it is time for the state government to consider providing us with stipends to remain vigil on the road. Being a member of the group requires a lot of dedication, which means an individual must always be available to take care of emergencies. This is difficult when you still have to look for food.”
Mallam Usaini Uba, another member of the group in Ruwan Zafi, lamented that hunger had chased many members away.
“At the beginning, we had large group of youths who are willing to work day and night, but as times goes on, they realised that they had to look for food.
“Most of them cannot afford to remain on the roads because they have families and other dependants to look after,’’ Uba said.
Simon Peter, a member of the group in Jiddari Polo, commended the state government for assisting them with logistics.
“The state government has been very supportive to us, government has on many occasions assisted us by hiring vehicles to convey our members on special assignment.
“But we believe government can do more by introducing monthly allowances to our members to enable us survive.’”
Reacting, Governor Kashim Shettima, said the government was planning to engage members of the group.
“It is part of our post-conflict management strategy to create jobs in public works and in construction as well as train others in vocational skills and agriculture,” he said.
The governor said those with the capacity to further their education would be sponsored, while others with limited skills would be supported to enhance their skills. Shettima also said some of them would be employed as sanitation managers and neighbourhood watchdogs, while others would be engaged in tree planting campaign. (NAN)