Governor Sule Convenes Emergency Security Meeting, Considers Banning Ethnic Vigilante Groups

Nasarawa State Governor, Engr Abdullahi Sule has convened an emergency security council meeting with a view to tackling emerging security threats in the State.

The security council meeting which held today (Monday April 15, 2024) at the Nasarawa State Government House, Shendam Road, Lafia, was as a result of rising cases of kidnapping and alleged abuse of power by some ethnic vigilante groups operating in the State.

Governor Sule made this known while delivering his opening remarks during the emergency security council meeting which also had in attendance the Deputy Governor of the State, the Speaker of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, some members of the State Executive Council, heads of security agencies in the State as well as some members of the traditional council of chiefs.

Explaining reasons behind calling for the meeting, the Governor expressed concern over the escalation of some security challenges during the time he was away, 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, were 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 ethic 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.

While appreciating his Deputy, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe for standing on his behalf while he was away to Saudi Arabia on Lesser Hajj, Governor Sule equally appreciated all those that supported his deputy during his absence, especially traditional rulers and members of the security agencies.

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.

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