Governor Sule convenes security meeting, considers banning Vigilante Groups in Nasarawa

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On Monday, Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule presided over an emergency enlarged security council meeting in the state capital, Lafia.

While giving a preamble before the meeting went behind closed doors, the governor said the meeting which is to address security challenges facing the state, was necessitated by the recent records of kidnappings in some local government areas of the State.

He expressed concern over the escalation of some security challenges especially kidnappings, as well as activities of ethnic militia groups.

“The purpose of the meeting has to do with the security situation that we have seen, especially during my absence, when certain issues were escalated. It’s indeed a point of worry that we continue to see an increase in the number of kidnappings especially in Keffi, Doma, Lafia, Awe, Obi, Keana, Karu and Nasarawa Local Government Areas of the state.

“We have also seen an increase in the activities of the Bassa militia terrorizing innocent people, especially in areas surrounding Shegye, Katakpa, and some other villages in Toto Local Government Area.

“We have on the other hand seen some increase in the dispute especially between communities similar to the one we have seen in Udege area where a person was killed as a result of misunderstanding within the same ethnic group,” he stated.

Governor Sule disclosed that having met with President Ahmed Bola Tinubu in Lagos, as well as some security chiefs in Abuja, where security matters were discussed, it also became necessary to call for the emergency security council meeting.

He pointed out that mostly as a result of the activities of the Bassa militia group, which has previously been operating under the ambit of the Bassa Vigilante Group, his administration is considering banning all single ethnic group vigilante groups operating in the state, including the Fulani Vigilante Group that has existed in the state since 2009.

“One of the discussions that we are going to have today is to consider the banning of any single ethnic group vigilante that is operating in the state. Any particular ethnic group establishing a vigilante will be banned,” he said.

The Governor added that his administration will give members of such ethnic vigilante groups a grace period within which to join already existing community vigilante group.

“By the time we take the decision about banning single ethnic group vigilante especially the Bassa vigilante group, then we will work towards ensuring we want peace in the state. We will give them a period of roughly one to two weeks to return their uniforms to us so that we can ensure they are disbanded. We will also ensure they are willing to abide by the system in the state and the policies of government,” he added.

He particularly appreciated the members of the security agencies for working hard to mitigate security challenges that would have been worse than was recently experienced.

“We are also aware of the crisis between farmers and herders recently, especially between the Eggon and Tiv community in Kadarko, where five people were killed. We will also discuss this today with a view to finding a way forward,” he said.