The Department of State Services and the Nigerian Army, on Tuesday, denied taking into custody the the President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Bello Bodejo, over the creation of a vigilance group in Nasarawa State.
But the National Secretary, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Saleh Al-Hassan, confirmed to The PUNCH that Bodejo was arrest by DSS operatives and soldiers on Tuesday.
This was a source in the DSS told The PUNCH learnt that Bodejo was arrested at the Miyetti Allah’s Head Office, Tundun Maliya Cattle Market Kilometre 22, Abuja-Keffi Expressway in the Tundun-Wada, Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
The source said DSS operatives, alongside some soldiers of the Nigerian Army, all armed to the teeth, 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.
According to a DSS source, who confirmed the arrest to our correspondent, Bodejo was arrested over fears that the creation of the Nomad’s Vigilante Group could cause violence across the country.
The PUNCH had last week reported that the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Fulani Sociocultural Association inaugurated the Nomad Volunteer Vigilante Group, consisting of 1,144 volunteers, to fight against banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling and all forms of insecurity in Nasarawa State.
Speaking on the occasion attended by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Operations in Nasarawa State, Abdulaziz Aliyu, Bodejo said, “The Nomad Volunteer Vigilante Group was not created to replace or undermine the efforts of our existing security agencies but rather to purely complement their work for the greater good of our country.
“The sole purpose of creating this outfit is to ensure peace, and harmony and to assist in addressing the serious levels of insecurity that have plagued our great nation which we condemn in its totality.”
However, the DSS source told our correspondent that the outfit was not registered with the DSS, the police, or any other security agency, hence, it was not recognised by the Federal Government.
“Our (DSS) operatives and soldiers of the Nigerian Army stormed the Miyetti Allah’s Head Office in Nasarawa this afternoon, and we’ve arrested their National President, Bello Bodejo, for creating a vigilance group that is not recognised by the government.
“The creation of that nomad’s vigilante group could cause violence in the country. The group was not registered with the DSS, the police, or any other security agency, and the group is not recognised by the Federal Government.”
When contacted over the development, the DSS’ spokesperson, Dr Peter Afunanya did not respond to phone calls and text messages by our correspondent on Tuesday.
But the National Secretary, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Al-Hassan, confirmed Bodejo’s arrest to our correspondent.
Al-Hassan, however, maintained that Bodejo’s arrest was not connected with the nomad’s vigilance group.
He said, “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.
“However, I can categorically tell you that his arrest was not in connection with the creation of the Miyetti Allah vigilance group. We created the group for security purposes, and the police, DSS, and Army were all informed and they knew about it. In fact, a representative of the Nigerian Army and the DSS were present when we launched the group, and we also informed the Commissioner of Police.”
However, the DSS spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, in terse WhatsApp message to journalists, said, “Bello Bodejo is not with the DSS.”
Also, the Nigerian Army’s spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, said he could not confirm the arrest of Bodejo’s arrest by soldiers of the Nigerian Army.
“I don’t have the information about his arrest,” Nwachukwu said.