Miyetti Allah vigilante ID Card. Twitter

The Ondo State Government has denied the existence of a vigilante group raised by the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in the state.

Concise News had reported that a human rights lawyer, Kayode Ajulo, had said that the Fulani herdsmen have set up a vigilante group in Ondo state, mounting checkpoints along the highway.

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In a post on social media, the staunch supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari said he had an encounter with the armed men while travelling from the Akoko area of the state to Abuja.

Ajulo, however, urged Nigerians not to allow ethnicity and sentiment to becloud their sense of judgment and humanity in the war against insecurity.

Reacting to the development, the state Commissioner for Information, Donald Ojogo, in a statement on Monday said the government had called for the arrest of the unauthorized group or persons claiming to be Fulani vigilantes in the state.

“The Ondo State Government observes with concern trending pictures of an identity card carrying men identified as Fulani vigilante in the Akoko area of the state. Various claims have been as regards the activities, duties as well as supposed mandate of these men in question,” he said.

“It is pertinent to recall that at the height of the incessant kidnap cases, the Ondo State Government took some far-reaching drastic measures which included marching orders to the law-abiding Hausa/Fulani leadership in the area to fish out criminal elements among them who took advantage of the rosy relationship between the indigenes and their law-abiding guests.

“As a measure to curb and possibly, stamp out cases of kidnap in the area, the Hausa/Fulani leadership was directed to select a handful of trusted men amongst them who could serve as tour guards in the thick forest as security agencies prepared to comb the forests. This measure yielded results.”

“It is important to note however, that while government appreciates the efforts of those who volunteered to provide information and served as tour guards to the security agencies in the ongoing operations in the area, it will not tolerate any unathourised move by any group to take an undue advantage of the current state of insecurity in the country.

“Succinctly, government, having been unaware of any such identity card carrying persons in the name of a vigilante group, has directed security agencies to get to the root of the matter and apprehend any such person or group of persons operating in that manner.”