FULANI herdsmen body the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (Macban) has disassociated itself the vigilantes patrolling highways in Ondo State saying it is not involved in any security arrangement.
There has been a furore over the last week, after lawyer Kayode Ajulo posted pictures on social media of himself and armed Fulani security vigilantes on the road to Akure. His report included images of the Macban identity cards the vigilantes carried and they claimed that there were officially authorised to conduct security in Ondo State.
Ondo State’s Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has come under fierce attack following the revelation as it is believed he recruited the vigilantes without consulting anyone. Several socio-cultural groups have also frowned at the ideas of outsiders being brought into Ondo State to act as vigilantes when local youths are not being allowed to form such groups.
However, the Ondo State chapter of Macban has said the men in Mr Ajulo’s pictures were not its members. Alhaji Bello Garuba, the chairman of Macban’s Ondo State chapter, added that his association has not formed any vigilante group.
Alhaji Garuba said: “The report is not true and cannot be substantiated. There was never a time our group came together to form any vigilante group and there is nothing we do without carrying the police along.”
Similarly, the Ondo State Police Command denied that it was shielding the Fulani vigilantes despite the fact that the armed men appeared to have official backing. Police spokesman Femi Joseph, said the command had begun investigations into the matter.
Mr Joseph added that a special team from the office of the Inspector-General of Police was combing the forest reserves in Ondo State, pointing out that efforts to arrest criminals would be successful. He said any vigilante group caught disobeying rules and regulations would be dealt with.