2023 Presidency: Vigilante Group of Nigeria Denies Purported Endorsement of Gov. Bello

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Paramilitary organization, the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, VGN has denied ever endorsing Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State as its preferred candidate for the 2023 presidential election.

Reacting to reports published by some media organizations on Sunday where Governor Bello was allegedly given an award for good governance and endorsed for the Presidency by the VGN, the group denounced the exercise as a product of an impersonator.

Another group, who also named itself as The Vigilante Group of Nigeria, had earlier declared their full support for the Kogi Governor to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari as next President of the country in 2023.

The group described Bello as a true Nigerian who has shown both in action and character his intentions to unify and secure the nation.

However, Deputy Commander, Yusuf Ibrahim Tanimola, on behalf of the National Public Relations Officer, in a statement issued on Monday in Abuja described Usman Mohammed Jahun, as a serial impersonator of the Commander General of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria.

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 complain 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.”

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