• Luqman SAKA
  • Dauda BUSARI
  • Yusuf Babatunde AHMED


Crime, highway crime, vigilantism, Moro Local Government, Non-State Policing


This paper examines public perception of the effectiveness of Moro Community Vigilante Group (MCVG) in the fight against crimes along major highways that run through Moro Local Government Area, Kwara State. This study employs the mixed method research design utilizing both the quantitative and qualitative research designs using questionnaire, in - depth interview and focus group discussion. The respondents were selected through a purposive sampling technique and the participant exclusion criterion was used to recruit and prepare the participants. Key individuals who are familiar with the topic were nominated. The study reveals that the MCVG is a useful tool for curbing highway crimes in Moro Local Government Area, Kwara State, Nigeria. However, the study also discovers some major challenges undermining the effectiveness of the MCVG in the prevention against highway crimes and other related crimes in the region. Thus, the study recommends that there is the need to strengthen the supervisory capacity of the Nigerian Police Force so that it can effectively monitor the activities of vigilante groups and proactively respond to distress calls from these irregular security outfits. There is also the need for government support in the areas of training and basic operational equipment. Above all, there is need for the urgent rehabilitation of the roads that run through the council areas connecting Ilorin, the state capital to Kwara North Senatorial District and the rest of Southwest Nigeria up to Northern Nigeria.


Abdulazeez, Y. (2013). O’odua People’s Congress and the changes in Nigeria’s political and security structures. Social Movement Studies 12 (2): 235-243.

Abraham, R. (1987). Sungusungu: Village vigilante group in Tanzania. African Affairs 86 (343): 179-196.

Abraham, R. (1998). Vigilant citizens: Vigilantism and the state. Cambridge and Oxford: Polity Press.

Abrahams, R. (2003). “What’s in a name? Some thoughts on the vocabulary of vigilantism and related form of informal criminal justice”, in Feenan, D (eds), Informal Criminal Justice. London: Ashgate.

Abrahamsen, R. and William, M. C. (2005) the globalization of private security.

Country report: Nigeria. United Kingdom: Economic and Social Research Council.

Adinkrah, M. (2005). Vigilante homicides in contemporary Ghana. Journal of Criminal Justice, 33, 413-427

Ajayi, J. O. and Adefolaju, T. (2013) Crime prevention and the emergence of self-help security outfits in South-western Nigeria. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science. 3(14): 287-299.

Ajayi, J. O. and Aderinto A. A. (2008) Crime wave and public confidence in Oodua Peoples’ Congress in Lagos, Nigeria. African Journal for the Psychological Study of Social issues. 11 (2): 259-280.

Akinyele, R. T. (2001). Ethnic militias and national stability in Nigeria: a case of Odua Peoples’ Congress (OPC). Africa Affairs 100: 623-640

Alemika, E. E. O. and Chukwuma, I. C. (2004) the poor and informal policing in Nigeria: A report on poor peoples’ perceptions and priorities on safety, security and informal policing in A2j Focal States in Nigeria. Center for Law Enforcement Education (CLEEN), LAGOS, Available online at http://www.gsdrc.orgldoes/open/SSAJ126.pdf

Alemika, E. E. O. and Chukwuma, I. C. (2005) Criminal victimization and fear of crime in Lagos metropolis, Nigeria. Monograph Series. CLEEN Foundation.

Amnesty International (2003) “Nigeria: vigilante violence in the South and South-east”. Retrieved December 14, 2014.

Amusan, L. and Saka, L. (2018). The Nigerian Police Force and the task of policing democratic Nigeria: Issues and problems. Anthropologist, 31 (1-3): 105-116.

Asomah, J. Y. (2017). Understanding the development of private policing in South Africa. African Journal of Criminology and Justice Studies, 10 (1): 61-82.

Ayyildiz, E. (1995). When battered woman’s syndrome does not go far enough: the battered woman is vigilante. Journal of Gender and the Law. (4): 141-166

Bakare, A. R. (2014) Rivalry or partnership policing? An insight into the public perception and relationship between state and non-state security providers in Ilorin, Nigeria. Being a Paper Presented at the 1st International Conference on Urban Conflicts and Violence, Organized Centre for Peace and Development Studies. Makurdi, Benue State, March 26 – 28.

Baker, B (2008) Multi-choice policing in Africa. Uppsala: the Nordic Africa Institute

Baker, B (2002) Taking the law into their own hands: Lawless law enforcers in Africa. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishers

Bateson, R. (2021). The politics of vigilantism. Comparative Political Studies 54 (6): 923-955.

Black, D. (1983). Crime as Social Control. American Sociological Review. 48 (1): 34-45

Brown, R. M. (1975) Strain of violence: Historical studies of American violence and vigilantism. New York: Oxford University Press

Burrows, W. E. (1976). Vigilantism! New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Buur, L (2003). Crime and punishment on the margins of the Post-Apartheid State. Anthropology and Humanism. 28 (1): 43-60.

Buur, L and Jensen, S (2004). Introduction: vigilantism and the policing of everyday life in South Africa. African Studies.63 (2): 139-152

Chen, X. (2002). Community and policing strategies. A Chinese approach to social control. Policing and Society. 12: 1-13.

De la Calle, L. and Sanchez-Cuenca, I. (2011). The quantity and quality of terrorism: The DTV dataset. Journal of Peace Research 48 (1): 49-58.

Dumsday, T. (2009). On cheering Charles Bronson: the ethics of vigilantism. Southern Journal of Philosophy, 47 (1): 49-68

Ekeh, P. P. (2002) The Bakassi Boys: The legitimization of murder and torture on State sponsored vigilante groups in Nigeria. A Review of HRW’s and CLEEN’s Reports, Urhobo Historical Society. May 27.

Enechojo, A. P. (2013) An assessment of the performance of informal security structures in community crime control in metropolitan Lagos. British Journal of Arts and social sciences. 14(1): 37-57.

Felbab-Brown, V. (2021). The greatest trick the devil played was convincing Nigeria he could protect them: Vigilante

groups & militias in Southern Nigeria. New York: United Nations University.

Fourchard, L. (2003) Security, crime and segregation in historical perspective, in Fourchard, L. and Albert, I. O. (Eds.), Security, crime and segregation in West African cities since the 19th century, Paris and Ibadan: Karthala and IFRA

Fourchard, L. (2006) A new name for an old practice: Vigilantes in South-Western Nigeria. Foundation Nationale Des Sciences Politiques Centre d’Etude d’ Afrique Nure, Bordeaux, 1 – 37.

Fusiek, D. A. (2020). Rethinking security: The limits of the traditional concept of security in a world of non-traditional

threats. HAPSc Policy Briefs Series, 1(2): 265-272. DOI: 10.12681/hapscpbs.26500

Galeoti, M (2008). Private security and public insecurity: Outsourced vigilantism in modern Russia, in Sen, A and Pratten, D (Eds)Global Vigilantes. New York: Columbia University Press.

Goldstein, D. M (1998). Effects of necessary, sufficient and indirect causation on judgement of criminal liability. Law and Human Behaviour, 22 (4): 429 -451

Harnischfeger, J. (2003) The Bakassi boys: Fighting crime in Nigeria. The Journal Modern of African Studies. 41 (1): 23-49

Haysom, N. (1989) Vigilantes: A contemporary form of repression. Paper presented at the centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation. Seminar (4), 25 May. University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Hine, K. D. (1998) Vigilantism revisited: An economic analysis of the law of extra-judicial self-help or why can’t Dick shot Henry for stealing Jane’s truck? The American University Law Review 47 (5): 1221-1254.

Hove, M; Ngwerume, E. T; and Muchemwa, C. (2013) the urban crisis in sub-Saharan Africa: A threat to human security and sustainable development. International Journal Stability of Security and Development 2 (1): 1-7.

Huggins, M. K. (1991). Vigilantism and the State in modern Latin America. New York: Praeger.

Human Rights Watch (2003). The O’odua People’s Congress (OPC): Fighting violence with violence. Human Rights Watch Report, 15 (4A), February 28.

Hunsu, F (2011). Zangbeto: Navigating between the spaces of oral art, communal security and conflict mediation in Badagry, Nigeria. The Nordic Africa Institute, Discussion Paper, No. 53.

Ikuteyijo, L. and Rotimi, K. (2010) Community partnership in policing: The Nigerian experience. Inaugural paper, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.

Inyang, J. D. and Abraham U. E. (2013) Policing Nigeria: A case for partnership between formal and informal Police institutions. Merit Research Journals 1(4): 053-058.

Inyang, J. D. and Brown, A. S. (2011) Community Police and policing problem: The Nigeria situation. International Journal of African Culture, Politics and Development, 6(1): 1-12

Jarman, N. (2008). Vigilantism, transition and legitimacy: Informal policing in Northern Ireland, in Sen, A and Pratten, D (Eds.), Global Vigilantes. New York: Columbia University Press.

Johnston, L. (1996). What is vigilantism? British Journal of Criminology. 36 (2): 220- 236.

Jung, D. F. and Cohen, D. K. (2020). Lynching and local justice: Legitimacy and accountability in weak states. Cambridge Elements in Political Economy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kantor, A and Person, M (2009). Understanding Vigilantism: Informal security providers and security sector reforms in Liberia. Sando and Stockholm. Forke Bernadotte Academy.

Kirkpatrick, J. (2008). Uncivil disobedience: Studies in violence and democratic politics. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Kitzinger, J (1994). The methodology of focus group: The importance of interaction between research participants. Sociology of health and illness. 16 (1): 103-121.

Lar, J. T. (2018). Policing reforms and vigilantism in Nigeria: Lessons from the past, present and the way forward. In Oliver, Owen (Ed.) Police reform in Nigeria: The devolution debate (pp. 62-75). Monograph Series No. 30. Abuja: CLEEN Foundation.

Lar, J. T. (2015). Vigilantism, state and society in Plateau state, Nigeria: A history of plural policing. A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in African History, Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies, Bayreuth University, Germany.

Lebas, A. (2013). Violence and urban order in Nairobi, Kenya and Lagos, Nigeria. Studies in Comparative International Development 48 (3): 240-262.

Little, C.B and Sheffield, C.P. (1983). Frontiers and criminal justice: English private prosecution agencies and American vigilantism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. American Sociological Review. 48, 796-808

Maguire, M. et al (1997) The Oxford Handbook for Criminology (2nd ed.), Oxford: New York.

Michie (1996) Indicating legislative’s purpose in enacting the Code of Criminal Procedure as being, in part, to avoid Vigilantism. Alaska Statistics.

Minnaar, A. (2001) the new vigilantism in post-Apartheid 1994 South Africa: Crime prevention or an expression of lawlessness? Institute for Human Rights and Criminal Justice Studies. (1): 1-52.

Moncada, E. (2017). Varieties of vigilantism: Conceptual discord, meaning, and strategies. Global Crime 18 (4): 403-423.

Nolte, I. (2007). Ethnic vigilantes and the state: The Oodua People’s Congress in South-Western Nigeria. International Relations, 21 (2): 217-235.

Obado-Joel, J. (2020). The challenge of state-backed internal security in Nigeria: Considerations for Amotekun. Resolve Network, Policy Note, December,

O ‘Connor, T. (2010) Vigilantism, vigilante justice and self-help. Megaliks In criminal Justice. Available online at

Ogbuehi, V. N. (2018). Kidnapping in Nigeria: The way forward. Journal of Criminology and Forensic Studies, 1 (3): 1-8.

Okeke, V. O. S. (2013), Community policing, vigilante security apparatus and security challenges in Nigeria: A lesson from Britain and Igbo traditional society of Nigeria. British Journal of Arts and Social Science, 14 (11): 306-321.

Okoli, A. C. and Ugwu, A. C. (2019). Of marauders and brigands: Scoping the threat of rural banditry in Nigeria’s Northwest. Brazilian Journal of African Studies, 4 (8): 201-222.

Olaniyan, A. (2018). Foliage and violence: Interrogating forests as a security threat in Nigeria. African Security Review,

(1): 1-20.

Olaniyan, A. and Yahaya, A. (2016). Cows, bandits and violent conflicts: Understanding cattle rustling in Northern

Nigeria. African Spectrum, 3: 93-105.

Olarongbe, A. (2014) “Moro Local Government and political calculation in Kwara” in Sunday Trust, Sept, 21 Sunday.

Olong, A. M. (2010) The administration of criminal justice in Nigeria: A case for reform. A thesis in the Faculty of Law, submitted to the School of Postgraduate Studies. University of Jos, in Partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Law of the University of Jos

Oomen, B. (2004). Vigilantism or alternative citizenship? The rise of Magopo a Mathamaga, Africa Studies 63 (2): 153-171.

Phillips, B. J. (2017). Inequality and the emergence of vigilante organizations: The case of Mexican autodefensas. Comparative Political Studies 50 (10): 1358-1389.

Pratten, D. (2008) The politics of protection: Perspective on vigilantism in Nigeria. The Journal of International African Institute, 1: 1-15.

Ritzer, G. (1996) Sociological Theory Fourth Edition, New York: Mc Graw-Hill Inc.

Roberts, F.O.N and Oladeji, A (2001). “Resurgent identity crisis and security management in Lagos, Nigeria: Lessons for West African cities”. A Paper prepared for presentation to the International Conference on Security, Segregation and Social Networks in West African cities, 19th – 20th Centuries. Ibadan. 29th – 31st October.

Rosenbaum, H. J. and Sederberg, P.C (1974). Vigilantism: an analysis of establishment violence. Comparative Politics. 6 (4): 541-570

Sen, A and Pratten, D. (2008). Global Vigilantes. New York: Columbia University Press.

Shotland, R. L (1976). Spontaneous vigilantism: a bystander response to criminal behavior. In Rosenbaum, H. J and Sederberg, P. C (Eds.), Vigilantism politics. University of Pennsylvania Press.

Shotland, R. L. and Goodstein, L. I (1984). The role of bystanders in crime control. Journal of Social Issues, 40 (1): 9 -26.

Silke, A. (2001). Dealing with vigilantism: Issues and lessons for the police. The Police Journal, 74: 120-133.

Smith, N. R. (2019). Contradictions of democracy: Vigilantism and rights in post-apartheid South Africa. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Smith, N. R. (2015). Rejecting rights: Vigilantism and violence in post-apartheid South Africa. African Affairs 114 (456): 341-360.

Stan, L. (2011). Vigilante justice in post-communist Europe. Communist and Post-Communist Studies 44 (4): 319-327.

Weisburd, D. (1998). Vigilantism as community social control: Developing a quantitative criminological model. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 4 (2): 137-153

Zimring, F. E (2003). The contradictions of American capital punishment. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Zizumbo-Colunga, D. (2019). Confronting crime by ourselves: Trust in neighbors, trust in authorities, and anti-crime organization. Latin American Research Review 54 (3): 574-590.

Zizumbo-Colunga, D. (2017). Community, authorities, and support for vigilantism: Experimental evidence. Political Behavior 39 (4): 989-1015.

Zumve, S. I. (2012) Community policing in contemporary Nigeria: A Synthesis of Models. Journal of Educational and Social Research. 2(9): 132-139.

Field Reports

Focus Group Discussion, Kwara State Vigilante Centre, Seriki Ndaji Hall, Gaa Saka, Ilorin Kwara State, 24thNovember 2014, 11:07am.

Focus Group Discussion, Local Government Secondary School, Olooru, Moro Local Government, Kwara State, 24thNovember 2014, 3:50pm.

In-depth Interview, Anonymous, Maraba Motor Park, Ilorin, 8thNovember 2014, 11:30am.

In-depth Interview, Baba Elero, Bode Saadu, Moro Local Government, Kwara State, 31stOctober 2014, 11:00am.