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Miyetti Allah president Bello Bodejo not in our custody – DSS

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Hardship: DSS issues warning to NLC ahead of planned nationwide protest

The Department of State Services (DSS) has said the president of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Bello Bodejo, is not in its custody.

Peter Afunanya, spokesperson of the DSS, made the clarification in a terse statement on Tuesday evening.

“He’s not with the DSS,” Afunanya said in a response to an enquiry seeking confirmation of Bodejo’s purported arrest by the secret police.

There have been reports that Bodejo was arrested by the DSS on Tuesday at the Miyetti Allah’s office in Karu LGA of Nasarawa state, over the unveiling of a vigilante group.

Bodejo was said to have been arrested on Tuesday at the Miyetti Allah’s Head Office, Tundun Maliya Cattle Market, Kilometre 22, Abuja-Keffi Expressway, Tundun-Wada, Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.

The DSS operatives alongside some soldiers of the Nigerian Army, were said to have stormed the Miyetti Allah’s Head Office close to Goshen Church, at about 3:40 pm on Tuesday, as they drove off after arresting Bodejo at the gate.

A DSS source who reportedly confirmed the arrest revealed that Bodejo was arrested over fears that the creation of the Nomad’s Vigilante Group could cause violence across the country.

He added that the group was not registered with the DSS, the police, or any other security agency, hence it is not recognised by the Federal Government.

The National Secretary, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Saleh Al-Hassan, had confirmed that it was soldiers who arrested him, but said the was not in connection with the recent creation of the nomad’s vigilante group.

“Yes, our National President has been arrested. It was soldiers of the Nigerian Army and DSS operatives who came here and took him away. But the DSS has always been here, and the soldiers are his friends. I think it’s the soldiers who invited him to make some clarifications, but when I get the details, I’ll inform you,” Punch quoted him as saying.

“However, I can categorically tell you that his arrest was not in connection with the creation of the Miyetti Allah vigilante group. We created the group for security purposes, and the police, DSS, and Army were all informed and they knew about it.

“A representative of the Nigerian Army and the DSS were present when we launched the group, and we also informed the Commissioner of Police.”

Meanwhile, following the creation of the vigilante group, Bodejo had emphasised that the volunteer vigilantes would strictly adhere to the country’s existing laws during their operations.

During the inauguration in Lafia, Nasarawa State, Bodejo urged the volunteer vigilantes to work in collaboration with the Police, Army, and other security agencies to ensure a more comprehensive approach to security across the 13 local councils of Nasarawa.

He said the vigilante group is made up of 1,144 Fulani youths selected from various communities in the 13 LGAs of the state.

He added that profiling of persons interested in joining the vigilante group was ongoing, noting that the target was to recruit up to 4,000 youths.

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“Every ethnic group has criminal elements among them, so if a Fulani man or woman commits a crime, he or she should be treated as a criminal just like others and not a Fulani criminal,” Bodejo had said.

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