Nasarawa gives ethnic vigilantes two weeks to surrender arms

by Adabanija Kamorudeen

The Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, on Tuesday, signed an executive order proscribing ethnic vigilance groups in the state.

Signing the executive order in Lafia, Sule gave members of the Kungiwar Zaman Lafiya Nomad Vigilante, Bassa Vigilante, Eggon Vigilante and other similar organisations operating in the state, two weeks to hand over all their weapons and uniforms to the Commissioner of Police.

The governor said he acted on the advice of the State Security Council, adding that the executive order was signed in the exercise of his power under Section 97(A) of the Penal Code.

“The Nomad Vigilante and other ethnic vigilante groups are hereby proscribed and declared unlawful societies dangerous to the good governance of the state,” Sule declared.

“The order may be cited as the Penal Code and Proscription of Nomad Vigilante and other similar Organisations Order, 2024 and shall deemed to have come into operation on April 15, 2024,” he said.

The Executive Order No. 1 of 2024 banned “any association, movement or group of persons or society in whatever name called or form, with the aim and objectives of providing security amongst particular ethnic groups within Nasarawa through the use of force or arms, etc.”

“Accordingly, the Kungiyar Zaman Lafiya nomad vigilante, Bassa vigilante, Eggon vigilante and other similar organisations are, henceforth, proscribed, and declared unlawful societies that are inimical to good governance in the state,” Sule said.

The executive order by Sule comes amid the trial of the President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Bello Bodejo, on terrorism charges in connection with the launch of an ethnic militia group, Kungiya Zaman Lafiya.

Bodejo was arrested by the Department of State Services on January 23 at the Miyetti Allah’s office in the Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.

His arrest came days after he launched a 1,144-man Nomad Volunteer Vigilante Group, which, he said, was “to fight against banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling and all forms of insecurity in Nasarawa State.”

While Bodejo claimed that he formed the vigilance group on the instruction of the state governor, the governor and the police denied knowledge of the group.

The Federal Government on, March 22, arraigned Bodejo on terrorism charges before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

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