In efforts to provide safe and conducive environment for citizens as well as foreign nationals conducting businesses on her shores, the Nigerian state have over the years constituted several regular law enforcement and security agencies mandated to maintain law and order as well as prevent and fight insurgencies including the terrorism they characterize. The Yan Tatsine uprising during the second republic and Boko Haram extremism cum attacks of the fourth republic have however raised doubts in certain quarters on the intelligence gathering ability of these state security outfits. While some scholars and policy makers have in this light called for a total overhaul of some if not all of these governmental agencies, this paper opts to take a critical look into the role of local vigilante organizations in assisting the state in her war against terror and other violent crimes such as rape and kidnapping. Focusing on the activities of some vigilante cells in Borno State which aligned in 2013 as ‘Civilian JTF’ to rout-out Boko Haram from their communities, and adopting the group theory approach to political inquiry, this study which assesses and confirms the positive activities of the vigilantes, also calls on the government at various levels to work out a synergy of these vigilantes’ activities and those of the conventional state security forces/services for the enhancement of the entire Nigerian security system.
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