Pro-Government Militias

Pro-Government Militia Website

Documentation for Anambra State Vigilante Service (AVS) aka Scorpion Squad

July 22, 1992
BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, Radio Nigeria, Kaduna, in English 1900 gmt 19 Jun 92

Evidence on Kaduna State Vigilante Group: The Kaduna State police command has suspended the activities of vigilante groups in the state with immediate effect. The state commissioner of police, Alhaji Abdulay Katungu, announced this today at a news briefing with mediamen.

Oct. 6, 2002
The New York Times

Here in Anambra State, one of the country's most notorious militias, known as the Bakassi Boys, was legalized by the state government in August 2000, and the salaries of its members have been paid from public money. The Bakassi Boys, whose official name is the Anambra State Vigilante Services and whose members belong to the main ethnic group of this region, the Ibos, have an office inside the governor's headquarters in the state capital, Awka.

Aug. 14, 2003
BBC Sumary of World Broadcasts, Radio Nigeria-Lagos Channel 1 in English 1800 gmt 11 Aug 03

On Delta State Vigilante Group: A monitoring team to check sea piracy and hostage-taking and vandalization of oil pipelines has been set up at Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State. At the inauguration of the body, the chairman of the local government transition committee, Prince Pere Manuwa, expressed the determination of government to clamp down on the perpetrators of the negative act. Prince Manuwa also directed communities in the area to form vigilante groups to complement efforts of ensuring security of lives and properties along the waterways.

Nov. 2, 2003
BBC Sumary of World Broadcasts, The Guardian on Sunday web site, Lagos, in English 2 Nov 03

Evidence on Yobe State Vigilante Group: After members of the state security council have studied the performance of the joint patrol team of police and vigilante groups, it was realized that there is a great need to seek the assistance of soldiers to fight armed bandits.

April 11, 2006
BBC Monitoring Africa – Political, Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring, Nigerian newspaper ThisDay website on 11 April

Evidence on Osun State Vigilante Group: A statement issued and signed by the president, Dosumu Oluwole commended the efforts of the vigilante group and the police over the arrest of the cultists.

May 3, 2009
BBC Monitoring Africa – Political, Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring

The governor (Peter Obi of Anambra State), (…) charged Traditional Rulers and Town Union heads to urgently re-organize their community vigilante groups in line with police directives for effective combating of crimes within their communities, insisting that government would forthwith hold responsible traditional rulers and community heads in whose communities crimes, especially kidnapping take place.

Aug. 22, 2009
BBC Monitoring Africa – Political, Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring, private Nigerian newspaper The Guardian website on 21 August

Meanwhile, a new security outfit, Anambra State Vigilante Service (AVS) was yesterday inaugurated in the state to check the rising crime wave. (…) Meanwhile, the Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Mr Uzor Amakulor, who inaugurated the AVS otherwise called Scorpion Squad, at the command headquarters, Amawbia, charged the members to work in cooperation with the police to tackle what he termed an upsurge of violent crimes in the state. He also warned against their interference in or settling public disputes, which, according to him, was outside AVS mandate. (…) He charged men of the squad to inculcate discipline and work within the ambit of protecting live and property of Anambra citizens

(H)e (the Anambra State Commissioner of Police) said and recalled that the outfit had been in existence in the state before now, adding that the police would regulate their roles. (…) Explaining further on their mode of operation, he said the coordinator would work directly with the Police High Command in Anambra, while at the local council level, they would form the grassroots to cover all areas.

Earlier in his address, the Coordiantor of AVS, Chief Kenneth Okonkwo, emphasised that their mission is to combat criminal activities and give Anambra people a new lease of life. According to him, the squad would be on 24 hours patrol and surveillance of the major cities of Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi among other towns, warning that the state can no longer be safe haven for criminals.

Jan. 17, 2010
BBC Monitoring Africa – Political, Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring, This Day website on 15 January

Ahead of the elections, the Police has said it has banned all vigilante groups in Anambra State to stop them from being used to rig the elections.

Jan. 4, 2012
BBC Monitoring Africa – Political Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring

Evidence on Kano State Vigilante Group: The soul of Kano city was literally seized by the mass of protesting youths who milled into the streets protesting the fuel subsidy removal, while policemen battled to disperse them along the BUK, Ibrahim Taiwo and State roads in Kano. (…) However, a combined team of soldiers from the Nigeria Army, Air Force and armed riot policemen, Civil Defence Corps and vigilante groups were at strategic locations and government buildings to forestall any attempt to break law and order in the state.

Jan. 5, 2012
Inter Press Service (Johannesburg)

Evidence on Kano State Vigilante Group: Police fired tear gas and beat protesters to force them out of a square they had occupied in an overnight sit-in in Nigeria's northern city of Kano as part of demonstrations over soaring fuel prices, an organiser said. Audu Bulama, one of the organisers of protests on Thursday, told AFP news agency, that about 300 people were wounded and 19 protesters arrested and later released."Around 1:15 this morning, the policemen assisted by local vigilantes fired tear gas on us, and when we refused to budge they used gun butts and cudgels to beat us while police vans ran into the crowd," he said.

Oct. 2, 2012
BBC Monitoring Africa – Political Supplied by BBC Worldwide

Evidence on Delta State Vigilante Group: Monitoring Report by correspondent says that the Delta State Police Command says it has arrested seven cultists allegedly from Delta State University, Abraka, as they were about to initiate new members into their fold on the bank of Urhouka River. Police spokesman, Charles Muka, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, who disclosed this, said the Police in Abraka and the local vigilantes working together moved into the scene on receiving information that the group, Mafacte cult group, was about to initiate new intakes and nabbed them.