As the clock ticks towards the 2023 elections, a Code of Conduct has been launched for Voluntary Policing Sector (VPS) groups in Borno State to insulate them from being used by politicians for violence and election malpractice.
The VPS groups in Borno State comprise the Civilian JTF, Hunters, Kish-Kish and other forms of local Vigilante.
The Code of Conduct was set by Borno State Government and Justice Reform System Team (JRST) in collaboration with the European Union (EU) and the British Council.
Speaking during the launching in Maiduguri last Thursday, the representative of Nigeria Bar Association and Member JRST, Barr. Mohammed Umaru, said the lack of guidelines for the groups had raised some concerns especially as the general elections approach.
He noted that the launching of the code of conduct would alleviate the fear that the VPS groups might be hijacked and used by the politicians.
The legal practitioner described the code of conduct launch as timely considering the fact that the commissioner of police is set to ensure that elections are not marred by any kind of excesses by voluntary policing sectors groups.
“This code of conduct will go a long way in addressing some of the concerns of citizens about the groups,” he said.
The Director of Citizen’s Right, Borno State Ministry of Justice, Barr. Habiba Yakubu Gana, threw her weight behind the code of conduct, expressing the need for society to have norms that would guide the activities of the people.
The Team Leader of the British Council, Aminu Buba Dibal, expressed optimism that the guidelines would enhance the mutual working relationship between the VPS groups and the security agencies and community members across the state.
He said code of conduct was developed over time, and deliberated upon and validated by the stakeholders in the security sector of the state.