Miyetti Allah Chief Alleges Nasarawa Gov. Pushed for Militia Creation

by Ohepo Ohepo

The head of Miyetti Allah tells investigators how the Nasarawa government pressured him to form a militia group.

Bello Bodejo, the president of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, has claimed that Abdullahi Sule, the governor of Nasarawa State, was responsible for the formation of Kungiya Zaman Lafiya, an ethnic paramilitary organisation.

Bodejo, who is being prosecuted for terrorism, claimed that the governor put pressure on him to organise the militia.

On January 23, 2024, at the Miyetti Allah office in the Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, the group’s commander was taken into jail by Defence Intelligence Agency agents on suspicion of disclosing a militia group.

On March 22, 2024, he appeared before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja to answer to three charges of terrorism.

Bodejo was specifically charged with creating the ethnic militia Kungiya Zaman Lafiya in Nasarawa State without permission.

According to the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022, Section 29 of the Act was supposed to punish the act.

But according to Bodejo’s confessional declaration, which Sunday PUNCH has got, the governor of Nasarawa State was responsible for the militia group’s establishment.

He claimed that earlier in the year, the governor had called him to convey his wish to form a vigilante organisation that was distinct from his colleagues’.

“I was arrested because of the vigilantes I paraded in Nasarawa State,” Bodejo declared. Governor Sule called me sometime in early January 2024, requesting that I meet with him regarding a Fulani organisation known as Kungiya Zaman Lafiya. I informed him that I was unaware of this organisation. The governor claimed that the reason he contacted me was that, unlike Katsina State, all the other governors had consented to establish vigilante organisations within their states, but he did not want to organise his own.

“He declared that he intended to make advantage of everyone who attended the pre-election campaign gathering. Additionally, he planned to connect them to the Army so that they might serve as his vigilantes. The group leader, Akajo, requested if I could collaborate with him. I informed him that since I am from the national level, I couldn’t travel down to work with Akajo. I later called Akajo to meet with me, and we talked about how to run the state’s Kungiya Zaman Lafiya. I told the Lafian Emir that I didn’t like the group and that some individuals had complained about them.

But I did question Akajo about how many men he had. He estimated the number of men to be 700. I asked to see their ID cards, which he produced; the CSO to the governor of Nasarawa State had sanctioned and signed the ID cards. Governor A. A. Sule called me to come with Akajo around two weeks later.

According to Bodejo, he met Sule and Akajo in the Governor’s Lodge in Abuja.

He claimed that even after alerting the governor to the unfavourable reports about Akajo’s gang, he insisted that Bodejo collaborated with him.

“Well, I left Bauchi and sent for Akajo to meet me at the Governor’s Lodge,” Bodejo stated. I met Akajo and the governor when I arrived at the lodge. The governor asked me what was going on with Akajo. I informed him that by starting problems, robbing cattle, and murdering people, Akajo and his gang were tarnishing the governor’s reputation.

“They went and resolved the issue with Toto LGA. They rounded up Fulani and harassed them when they arrived. The animals were left behind as the Fulani fled. The livestock were gathered and sold by Akajo and his companions. The governor urged me to collaborate with him.

The commander of Miyetti Allah asserted that additional individuals who were supposed to join Akajo’s group but left because Akajo did not give them their fair part of the money that the governor had given come from the local government districts of Nasarawa, Obi, and Kyana.

“I told the governor that I had asked Akajo for the group’s list so that I could join it with my people to make up the 2,000, and that he had not given it to me,” he stated. The governor recommended that we meet at Lafia. I explained to the Ardos during the meeting what the governor intended to do with the Kuniya Zaman Lafiya, and they accepted the concept. One Kunya Zaman Lafiya member expressed dissatisfaction during the meeting, saying they were receiving no benefits. I informed the governor over the phone right away.

The governor confirmed that Akajo received all of the monies for the organisation, hence Akajo was the one who neglected to pay them. People from the LGAs of Nasarawa, Obi, and Kyana expressed their indignation at this news and claimed they were unable to join Akajo’s group. The governor gave me the order to make due with the 700 members of the Akajo group that are now in place and, if feasible, increase that number to 1,000.

Bodejo continued, stating that he had a follow-up conversation with a friend of his, Captain Ahmed Chiroma (retd.), who suggested that he go ahead and get the group’s formation legally recognised.

He claims that Chiroma composed a report, which they both gave to the governor.

According to Bodejo, the governor rejected the write-up when it was given to him.

“I met one of my friends, Captain Ahmed Chiroma (retd.), who is the deputy secretary of the Presidential Think Tank, after the meeting and explained everything to him,” the speaker stated. The captain recommended that I make it lawful. He promised to draw up a report for the governor, which he did, and the two of us went to give it to him. I’m not sure what he wrote, but the governor rejected it, saying he preferred to administer the state in his own way after reading the article.

The governor, according to Bodejo, then gave him instructions to meet with the State Government Secretary to talk about how much it would cost to buy kits for all 1,000 members of the group.

The head of Miyetti Allah said that Chiroma cautioned him about the illegality of the group’s formation.

“The governor said I should meet with the SSG and inform him of the cost of acquiring 1,000 uniforms and kits,” he continued. Chiroma cautioned me against doing business with the governor because of his illegal actions. First of all, the governor cannot only use one Fulani tribe as vigilantes and, secondly, cannot use one as security. He only constructed this security vigilante organisation for them—not schools.

The next day, according to Bodejo, the governor called him to ask about the plans made for the group’s formation. He also begged Sule to give him two weeks.

Bodejo claimed he didn’t know what to do and called Chiroma, who suggested that he form a nomad vigilante organisation and register it with the Corporate Affairs Commission.

“The governor called me the next day while I was travelling to Bauchi,” he said. So when I went to see him in Lafia, he asked me about the plans. I asked him to give us a fortnight. I texted Captain Chiroma and told Akajo, and he agreed that we should get together in Bauchi. Chiroma suggested that I notify the governor when I was in Bauchi that Miyetti Allah would be used instead of the Kungiya Zaman Lafiya and that it would be registered as a nomadic vigilante group.

“The governor informed me that he had released funds for the uniform and advised me to get in touch with the SSG. However, when I did so, the SSG pointed me in the direction of the state Deputy Commissioner of Police.” I found out that the governor gave N15,000,000, but he handed me N14,500,000. When I told Captain Chiroma about the money, he suggested that, in order to provide us with cover, we register the nomadic vigilante organisation with the CAC right away. After the group was registered, we received a certificate.

Bodejo claimed that he obtained the uniforms and gave them to the governor after registering the group.

The head of Miyetti Allah claimed that the governor was furious and had requested him to include Kungiya Zaman Lafiya on the uniform badges.

He declared, “We sewed the uniforms and added badges that identified the Nigerian Nomadic Vigilante Group.” Upon presenting the sample to the governor, he inquired from us who had informed us that Kungiya Zaman Lafiya was his desired outcome. He advised me to replace the Nomadic Vigilante Group emblems on my uniform with Kungiya Zaman Lafiya. I fled because the governor was really upset with me.

He claimed that the governor gave him instructions to accompany the director of the Department of State Services and the commissioner of police to his office.

Bodejo stated that Sule gave him the order to parade the group on January 17, 2024, despite the fact that he noticed the meeting concluded before he arrived at the governor’s office.

“The governor called me on January 12, 2024, and I told him I was in Bauchi,” he said. He advised me to accompany the state police commissioner and the DSS director. However, they had concluded the conference before I could travel from Bauchi to arrive. Following the Jummat prayer, I met with the governor, who advised me to meet him in his office. He stated he had given the order for us to parade the Kungiya Zaman Lafiya on January 17, 2024, wearing the uniform. He informed me that he had meetings with the DSS Director and the Commissioner of Police.

Bodejo claimed that the DSS director counselled him to use caution, but he had spoken with the CP, who backed the governor’s order.

“I asked the Commissioner of Police if he supported the governor’s idea, and he said yes,” the man stated. When I met the Director of DSS, he told me that although everyone knew the governor shouldn’t be doing what he was doing, he still held that position and that if I said I couldn’t, he might accuse me of being a state enemy and supporting bandits. He counselled me to proceed with caution.

Out of the N15 million the governor had released, the head of Miyetti Allah claimed he had received N7.5 million to transport group members and reserve the hall for the unveiling.

“The Deputy Commissioner of Police gave me N7,500,000 out of the N15,000,000 released by the governor for the payment for the Lafia hall and the transportation of the group members,” he stated.

According to Bodejo, the governor, his SSG, and other officials weren’t present on the day of the event.

He said, “We got everyone together in the Lafia hall on January 17, 2024. Upon arriving at the location, I failed to spot the governor or the SSG. When I called the governor, he informed me that he was in Abuja since the Supreme Court would rule on his case on January 18, 2024, and that I should proceed. I inquired about the SSG or any representatives from the governor. He explained away their absence in a variety of ways. Then I felt uneasy.

He claimed that following the exercise, he became aware of the governor’s intention to eliminate him in order to give the gang complete authority over their ability to “perform nefarious activities against the Fulani.”

“The governor gave me the order to march the group to the Commissioner of Police’s office following the ceremony,” Bodejo stated. That’s precisely what I did. But after the entire exercise, I realised that the governor wanted to get me out of the state so he could utilise the group however he saw fit.

“I am aware that I am the only one who can prevent the organisation from carrying out such heinous actions against the Fulani people. He knows that I never liked the group before he strategically included me and pulled out during the launch, so now that I’m in jail, his goal has been achieved.

The governor’s assistant responds

When reached, a governor’s aide denied that Sule was involved in the founding of the Kungiya Zaman Lafiya.

Speaking on the subject on Friday, Peter Ahemba, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Affairs, advised the public to reject any rumours that associate his principal with the militia’s formation because there isn’t a shred of truth to it.

“Abdullahi Sule, the governor of Nasarawa State, had no involvement in the formation of the Nomad Vigilante Group of Nigeria,” he declared.

When a business is not supported by the laws of the land, the governor cannot approve it.

“As a man who upholds the rule of law, Governor Sule could not have simply given permission or encouraged someone to lead an unlawful vigilante group.

“There is no reality in such misinformation and rumours, so I am advising the people to ignore them. Thus, no individual or group of individuals should force him into a topic about which he is ignorant.

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