The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Fulani Sociocultural Association launched the Nomad Volunteer Vigilante Group on Wednesday, comprising 1,144 carefully selected, screened, and profiled volunteers.
The primary objective of this newly inaugurated vigilante group is to address various security challenges, including banditry, kidnapping, and cattle rustling, in Nasarawa State, the group has said.
Abdullahi Bodejo, the association’s national president, emphasised that the volunteer vigilantes would strictly adhere to the country’s existing laws during their operations.
Speaking during the inauguration ceremony in Lafia, Bodejo urged the volunteer vigilantes to work in collaboration with the Nigerian Army, the Nigeria Police Force, and other security agencies. This collaborative effort is intended to ensure a more comprehensive approach to security across the 13 local government areas of Nasarawa State.
Bodejo took the opportunity to address a prevalent narrative portraying all Fulani herdsmen as having criminal inclinations, asserting that such a generalisation is inaccurate.
He urged members of his community to prioritise living in peace and harmony within their respective communities to avoid conflicts with security agencies.
Bodejo made it clear that the Nomad Volunteer Vigilante Group was not established to replace or undermine the existing efforts of formal security agencies but rather to complement their work for the greater good of the country.
He said, “In every tribe, there are always people who will give a bad name to their kinsmen. All tribes have such people. So, that bad narrative on only the Fulani people is not good.
“The Nomad Volunteer Vigilante Group was not created to replace or undermine the efforts of our existing security agencies but rather to purely complement their work for the greater good of our country.
“The sole purpose of creating this outfit is to ensure peace, harmony and to assist in addressing the serious levels of insecurity that have plagued our great nation which we condemn in its totality.”
The commissioner of police in Nasarawa State, Umar Nadada, represented by the assistant commissioner of police, operations, Abdulaziz Aliyu, commended the association for taking the initiative to establish its vigilante team.
However, Nadada emphasised the importance of ensuring that the newly inaugurated vigilante group works in synergy with formal security agencies, maintaining strict compliance with the laws of the land.
Also, the commander 177 Guard Battalion, Keffi, Lt. Col. Inuwa Bala, represented by Maj. M. A. Sani, provided assurances of the Nigerian Army’s support.
He encouraged the vigilantes to adhere to the rules of engagement provided by the association, ensuring a harmonious collaboration with formal security forces and preventing potential challenges in the execution of their assignments.