Nasarawa State Government Bans Ethnic Vigilante Groups

Nasarawa bans ethnic vigilante groups, citing rising kidnapping and abuse of power. Government aims to maintain law and order, vetting community groups through councils and traditional rulers.

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Mazhar Abbas
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Nasarawa State Government Bans Ethnic Vigilante Groups

Nasarawa State Government Bans Ethnic Vigilante Groups

The Nasarawa State Government has proscribed all ethnic vigilante groups operating in the state, including the Fulani ethnic vigilante group known as the Kungiyar Zaman Lafiya, the Bassa vigilante group, and the Eggon vigilante group. Governor Abdullahi Sule signed Executive Order No. 1 of 2024, which also bans any other association, movement, organization, or society affiliated with these ethnic vigilante groups.

The order, issued after an emergency expanded security council meeting, declares the groups as "unlawful societies dangerous to the good governance of the state." It directs members of the outlawed groups to hand over all weapons, arms, and uniforms to the Nasarawa State Commissioner of Police within two weeks from the date of the order's issuance. Non-compliance will be met with the full force of the law.

Governor Sule cited the powers vested in him via Section 97A of the Penal Code and other relevant laws, acting on the advice of the state security council. The decision comes amid rising cases of kidnapping and abuse of power by some ethnic vigilante groups in the state.

Why this matters: The ban on ethnic vigilante groups in Nasarawa State highlights the government's efforts to maintain law and order and prevent the abuse of power by non-state actors. It highlights the importance of addressing security challenges through official channels and the need for all groups to operate within the confines of the law.

In January 2024, the military reportedly arrested the National President of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Abdullahi Bello Bodejo, for organizing a 1,144-person Fulani vigilante group in the state. The recent proscription order covers all such ethnic vigilante groups across the 13 local government areas of Nasarawa State, with the government now vetting community vigilante groups through local councils and traditional rulers.

Key Takeaways

  • Nasarawa bans all ethnic vigilante groups, including Fulani, Bassa, and Eggon groups.
  • Governor Sule cites rising kidnapping and abuse of power by vigilantes for the ban.
  • Vigilante members must surrender weapons, arms, and uniforms within 2 weeks or face legal action.
  • The ban aims to maintain law and order, prevent abuse of power by non-state actors.
  • Community vigilante groups will now be vetted through local councils and traditional rulers.