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THE IMPACT OF VIGILANTISM AND CRIME CONTROL IN CONTEMPORARY NIGERIA: A CASE STUDY OF GEZAWA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, KANO STATE, NIGERIA (2010-2015)
Abstract: The inability of the Nigerian Police Force to control the increasing wave of crime has led to proliferation of vigilante groups in contemporary Nigeria. This study was initiated to investigate the impact of vigilante groups on crime control and management in contemporary Nigeria, particularly in GEZAWA L.G.A of KANO STATE. One hundred and twenty (120) respondents were sampled from GEZAWA LOCAL GOVERNMENT Area of KANO STATE. Multi-stage, cluster and simple random sampling methods were used as the sampling techniques. Questionnaires were administered to respondents by six (2) research assistants whereas interviews were conducted with two (2) traditional rulers, chairman of Gezawa L.G.A 2 Commandants of vigilante group and 5 vigilante group members. The result indicated that Nigeria Police is ineffective with regard to crime control and vigilante groups in its current form sprang up to make up for this ineffectiveness and fill the gap of insecurity at grassroots level . It also showed that vigilante groups are gaining prominence as agents of crime control in contemporary Nigeria, particularly, Gezawa L.G.A of KANO STATE. The result equally revealed that vigilante group members are recruited and monitored through their communities and that they are effective in crime control. Also, the result indicated that the best way of solving the problem of crime in Nigeria is by increasing the activities of vigilante groups through training and support from local communities and Government. However, lack of working tools, poor funding, and lack of patrol vehicles are the major problems confronting vigilante groups. More so, based on the major findings, it was recommended that vigilante group members should operate within the frame work of law, needed to have support from both local communities and other relevant stake holders. Finally, security committees should be established at the local government level and these committees should meet periodically to discuss security matters in their areas and report back any issues of insecurity to the relevant security agencies for proper management and control of crime in the country.
Keywords: Vigilante group, Crime Control, Policing, Community Participation.