From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
Vigilante group of Nigeria, which is saddled with the responsibility of assisting security agents in providing information and identifying criminal suspects is facing internal crisis, as two Commander-General’s have emerged in last 48 hours claiming leadership of the group.
The first Commander-General ,Alhaji Ali Sokoto while addressing the media in Kaduna said, he registered the group with the Corporate Affairs Commission and has being managing the affairs of the organization with the assistant from his lieutenants.
According to him, the organization has maintained its duty without any hassles until 31st January, 2009 when a group led by Usman Mohammed Jahun held a Kangaroo meeting in Abuja, where they purportedly passed a vote of no confidence on him and thereby declared Usman Mohammed Jahun as National Chairman and Commander-General of the group.
“They went ahead and instituted a suite at a Kaduna High Court seeking a declaration to remove me from office, because of the alleged vote of no confidence, declaration that the plaintiffs are duly elected/appointed as leaders of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria and an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendant from parading and or holding himself out as the National Chairman of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria and also acting in that capacity,” he said.
Alhaji Ali Sokoto said in as much as he is concerned, he remains the Commander-General of the group until the court declared otherwise.
However, in a sharp reaction, Alhaji Usman Mohammed Jahun while briefing the media in Kaduna said he was elected by the 36 states Commanders and FCT to serve as the Commander-General and he did solely imposed himself on the group.
“The meeting which he referred to was held on the 31st January, 2009, he was supposed to be part of the meeting, but he left after the first day based on ill-health and after the third day I was elected as the new Commander-General. The result of the meeting was fully communicated to him.
“We even resolved to make him our national patron, because this is a man who is above 80 years and the congress felt it is time for him to retire for others to continue where he stopped, but rather than see reason with us, he kept on holding grip on the group, saying he personally registered it. And I want to tell all Nigerians that the VGN is not anybody’s property.
“Since I assumed office as Commander-General, we have being working with the various IGPs and state like Zamfara donated 15 Hilux vehicles and 50 motorcycles to the group, the Vigilante group is a national organization and one of the major complain of other Commander in other parts of the states, especially in the South-West and South-East is that Ali Sokoto has centred the group in the north and that what we are trying address.
Unless a quick solution is sought for the group, which motto is “No to Crime” the criminals which they are after may seize the advantage of the crack in the group to have a field-day.