… CP distances self from group
Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The recent arrest and continued detention of the President of Miyetti Allah kautal Hore, Abdullah Bodejo, is generating ripples in the North, as Arewa Centre for Peace and Development, ACPD, Tuesday, demanded his immediate release.
This is as the Commissioner of Police, Nasarawa State, Shehu Umar Nadada, although having been represented at the launch, has washed his hands off the formation of the 1,144-man Fulani Nomad Vigilante team by the Miyetti Allah president.
Addressing a press conference in Katsina, ACPD urged the Fulani community to take appropriate legal action against the Nigerian Army to challenge Bodejo’s arrest.
The Miyetti Allah helmsman was arrested on January 23 at the Tundun Maliya Cattle Market, Tundun-Wada, Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
His arrest was sequel to his inauguration of the Fulani Nomad Vigilante team which Miyetti Allah launched in Nasarawa State on January 17.
Although the Department of State Services and the Nigerian Army had denied any involvements in the arrest of Bodejo, the National Secretary of the group, Saleh Al-Hassan, has continued to finger both agencies for the arrest.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday in Katsina, the Executive Director of the Arewa Centre for Peace and Development, Abubakar Birchi, said Bodejo’s arrest and continued detention, were unlawful and capable of plunging the country into crisis.
He demanded his release to avoid unnecessary tension in the land.
“We have observed with keen interest the unacceptable treatment meted out to Northern Nigeria by the APC-led government which may unduly heat up the polity.
‘’The recent arrest and continued detention of the President of Miyetti Allah kautal Hore, Abdullah Bello Bodejo of Fulani extraction by the army is unacceptable.
‘’Bodejo has been held for over two weeks now without any reasonable explanation from the army or defence headquarters.
‘’We at the centre call on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the military authorities to, as a matter of urgency, release Dr Bodejo or hand him over to appropriate legal authorities or security.
‘’Just because he launched a nomadic vigilance group in Nasarawa and has the intention of forming it in all states of the federation, should not warrant his detention by the army.
“As the centre acknowledges the maturity exhibited by the Fulani community while their leader is detained illegally, we encourage them to take any legal action at their disposal to see their leader free.”
Meanwhile, the Nasarawa State, CP has distanced himself from the Fulani vigilante group.
The CP who was represented at the launch by the Nasarawa State Assistant Commissioner of Police, Operations, Abdulaziz Aliyu, denied any knowledge of the event.
He said he did not receive any formal invitation to the event, and was not aware of the inauguration.
The CP who also spoke with newsmen on Tuesday in Lafia, said the Fulani vigilante group was on their own.
“I am assuring you that the nomad vigilantes, as they call themselves, are on their own. There was no formal report to the police concerning the issue. Nobody wrote to me or called me that he was coming here (command headquarters) for anything.
“We have been working with some vigilance groups that are recognised by the government, but we will not work with any vigilante that is not recognised by the government.”
“Nobody informed the command in written form or verbally about the vigilance group, but ordinarily, if there is any gathering like that, we cannot allow people to gather without providing security for them so that hoodlums will not go and hijack the gathering.”