Youths Advocates Clear Policy on Formation, Operation of Vigilante Groups in Nigeria

By Ralph Madugu

The Berom Youth Moulders, BYM, an umbrella body of all youths from the Berom ethnic nationality has called for the establishment of a comprehensive on the formation and operation of vigilante groups in the country towards ensuring that such groups are held accountable the operational standards and regulations observed by all legally established security forces in Nigeria.

The body also called for steps to address the lack of access to effective law enforcement and feelings of marginalization which the group listed as one among the issues underlying the formation of these vigilante groups.

In an open letter to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu following the recent formation of a vigilante outfit by a Fulani Socio-cultural Association, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore in Nasarawa state, titled “Concerns regarding the formation of Fulani Vigilante outfit in Nasarawa State and its implication on National Security,” BYM said while it understood that the formation of vigilante groups may be seen as a way to protect communities and aid in maintaining law and order, it was however, concerned that its establishment as a Fulani-specific group could exacerbate existing tensions between ethnic groups in Nigeria.

The letter signed by Rwang BYM National Publicity Secretary, Rwang Gyang Tengwong, maintained that it was crucial that efforts be intensified towards promoting unity and harmony amongst all citizens, regardless of ethno-religious backgrounds, in order to maintain peace and stability in our Nation, Nigeria.

Members of the Fulani Vigilante

It warned that the formation of such vigilante group has a “high potency of creating a sense of division and mistrust” among different ethnic groups not only in Nasarawa State, but the country at large.

It added that the move could potentially heighten suspicions, tension and possibly lead to eruption of violence.

“It is important to note that the Berom Youths and other nationalities are nursing suspicion and fear, particularly people that have had their respective experiences of terror onslaughts from armed Fulani, bandits and other terrorist networks.

“Moreover, the involvement of a tribal-based vigilante group in matters of law enforcement and security would pose a significant threat to the rule of law and the authority of the Nigerian Government. Such groups may operate outside of the established legal framework, which could undermine the effectiveness of our nation’s security apparatus and create further instability.

“We believe that by taking these steps, and with sincerity from community leaders to expose bad eggs in their communities to security agencies, we can foster a sense of unity and trust among our diverse population, while also ensuring the safety and security of all citizens. We are confident that, with your leadership, we can work together to create a brighter future for Nigeria.”

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