The Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello has been blamed by the Vigilante Group of Nigeria for allowing one Usman Mohammed Jahuna who recently paraded himself as its Commander General to dump him with the aim of endorsing him for the presidency in 2023.
The Deputy Commander of the group, Yusuf Ibrahim Tanimola, in a statement released on Tuesday distanced the group from the award and endorsement of Bello for the 2023 Presidency.
Tanimola described Usman Mohammed Jahun as a serial impersonator of its Commander General, adding that he is currently on the run.
It was reported that Jahun led a group of people who claimed to be members of VGN to the Government House, where they endorsed the state Governor’s Presidential ambition.
The statement reads in part, “The attention of the National Headquarter of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria has been drawn to a publication by some online portal, titled 2023: Vigilante Group of Nigeria wants GYB to be President.
“Ordinarily, the VGN would have ignored the publications as fake news but we had to pay attention to the said publications because of the photo-ops of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and one Usman Mohammed Jahun, a serial impersonator of the Commander General of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria.
“In the said hatchet publication which was poorly executed and clearly aimed at extortion and cheap publicity, the said Usman Mohammed Jahun wore the uniform of the VGN and rank of the Commander General.
“The Governor of Kogi State was given an award for good governance and endorsed for the Presidency in the 2023 general elections.”
The Deputy Commander further stated that the group is a registered paramilitary organization with a clear mandate to support other security agencies in intelligence gathering, crime detection and prevention and community policing.
“In line with standard practice and behaviour, the mandate of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria does not include giving dubious awards and endorsement of politicians.
“While the VGN hold His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State in high esteem for ensuring peace and stability in Kogi State, our organization find it ridiculous that the Governor did not undertake due diligence before dealing with a man who has been evading the law and parading as the Commander General of the VGN.
“The VGN is not averse to the political ambition of Governor Yahaya Bello nor any Nigerian but the organisation prefer to be left alone to perform its statutory role of securing lives and property.
“The said Usman Mohammed Jahun is wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and the Police to answer for criminal complaints against him by the leadership of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria.”
According to Tanimola, the only recognised Commander General of Vigilante Group of Nigeria appointed by the National Executive Council and well known by security agencies is Navy Captain (Dr) Umar Bakori (rtd) Fss, Mss, Dss, psc, fndc, Msc.
“The Vigilante Group of Nigeria is a reputable organisation whose bill at the National Assembly has passed crucial stages and will soon be assented to by Mr President to enable it to play its role of providing community-based intelligence backbone to overcome security challenges in the country.
“The organization will therefore not do anything to tarnish its well-guarded reputation by getting involved in partisan politics or foray into giving controversial awards.
He gave the officially recognised registered address of the VGN National Headquarters to be No. 52B, Ishaya Shekari Crescent, Setraco Gate, Gwarinpa Estate, Abuja.
“We, therefore, warn members of the public to be wary of the said Usman Mohammed Jahun as anyone who deals with him shall be doing so at his/her detriment.”
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