By Wole Mosadomi
One hundred and seventy members of Vigilante group have been confirmed killed in the fight against insurgency this year in Niger State.
Some of those identified to have lost their lives include Alhaji Dan Asabe Mariga, AlhTukur Karanbana, Magaji Dangata Liyo Gudaci, Tanko Gurmana and Aminu Bassa, among others.
The state commander of the group, Malam Nasir Mohammed Manta, who disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Minna weekend, also said members of his group in retaliation, killed and arrested many bandits while defending their local government areas.
Those arrested, according to him, have been handed over to the Police for investigation and prosecution.
He, however, said that despite the recorded death of his members across the state, the group would not relent in its effort towards defending the state by waging total war against the bandits and also work hand in hand with other security agencies, including the Army, Police and Civil Defence.
On the proliferation of voluntary security outfit, Manta stressed the need for Niger State government to collapse them into one under the same umbrella to avoid duplication and unnecessary wrangling.
He seized the opportunity of the briefing to debunk insinuations that some members of the Vigilante in Niger State attacked and vandalised a Divisional police station in Kagara headquarters of Rafi Local Government Area and went away with some ammunition, saying the allegation was false and misleading.
He described his members as responsible people who wouldn’t have engaged in such act and advised the public to always cross-check their facts in order not to tarnish the image of the group, especially in view of the rescue work the members were engaged in.