14th December, 2021
By Richard Elesho/Lokoja
The Vigilante Group of Nigeria, VGN, has blamed Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello for allowing himself to be duped by one Usman Mohammed Jahuna who recently paraded himself as its Commander General and endorsed his 2023 presidential ambition.
The group therefore distanced itself from purported award and endorsement of the Governor’s 2023 Presidential ambition, insisting it does not delve into such matter.
The clarifications were made on Monday in a statement by VGN Deputy Commander, Yusuf Ibrahim Tanimola, on behalf of the group’s National Public Relations Officer, describing one Usman Mohammed Jahun as a serial impersonator of it’s CG, on the run.
Jahun had led a group who claimed to be members of top echelon of VGN to Government House, Lokoja, where they declared their full support for the Kogi Governor to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
However, while admitting Governor Bello’s right to his 2023 ambition, the Deputy Commander explained that VGN is a paramilitary organisation, whose mandate does not include giving dubious awards and endorsements to politicians.
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.”
He said, the VGN is a registered paramilitary organization with a clear mandate to offer complimentary support for the Police and 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.”
DC Tanimola said to keep records, 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 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.”