Niger State governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has cautioned Youth Volunteer groups, especially those affiliated with religious bodies not to militarise their members but to operate within the confines of the law.
He frowned at the display of military simulation exercise by a youth volunteer groups in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Malam Jibrin Baba Ndace in Minna on Saturday.
He observed that volunteer groups are deviating from their primary function of ensuring orderliness at the gatherings especially during Sunday Service in Churches and the Friday Jumat prayers in Mosques to acquiring military training and practice.
“Volunteer groups are to operate within the letters and the intent of the law. These groups to the best of my knowledge are to help ensure orderliness during congregational prayers, direct and ensure free flow of human and vehicular traffic before, during and after Jumat prayers on Fridays and Church services on Sundays.
“The growing and disturbing trend that I have noticed across the divide is the militarisation of these groups. They are now being drilled in the act of using arms and carrying gun.”
“Instead of indoctrinating them into the use of arms, we have to inculcate the values and virtues of peace into the psyche of our youth. Let them embrace peace and live it.”
“The use of wood as gun for parade is uncalled for. All these military simulation should be discouraged. These are young boys and in some cases girls are engaged too. Their minds are tender, we should build them up to embrace peace and orderliness as a way of life. This will help guarantee a more united and peaceful society,” the governor advised.
Governor Sani Bello assured Nigerlites of his determination to ensuring peace and security in the state and urged all stakeholders to support government’s resolve in that direction.
Jibrin Baba Ndace
Chief Press Secretary
Niger State Government House