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The Ondo State Police Command on Tuesday said it had commenced manhunt for the for the reported illegal herdsmen vigilante groups in the state.

The command’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Femi Joseph, the command had been on the lookout for the vigilante group.

Joseph, however, said that policemen in various police divisions across the 18 local government areas of the state had been working with vigilante groups in various communities but not with Fulani herdsmen and that none of the members of the vigilante groups carried arms.

He said, “We know we are in the area that community policing is being emphasized. What we encouraged our DPOs (Divisional Police Officers) to do is to synergise with the host communities.

“Now that we have heard a story of Fulani vigilantes carrying arms and identity cards, the command has begun investigation into that. If anybody caught violating the rules, such persons will be brought to book.”

Pictures of a legal practitioner, Kayode Ajulo, and some suspected Fulani herdsmen, who mounted a roadblock in Ondo State, trended on the social media on Monday.

An identity card of one of the armed herdsmen, on the social media, indicated that they were members of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria and they belonged to the Ikare-Akoko branch of the association.

The logo of the vigilante group featured two guns while the code was MACBAN/NHQ/MSC.

When contacted, the Force headquarters on Tuesday said the commissioner of police, Ondo State Command, was well placed to handle the issue of the herdsmen vigilante group.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Frank Mba, who said this in an interview , asked the police commissioner to address the issue.

He was asked if the force headquarters was aware of the vigilante group and how it was responding to the matter.

Mba, a deputy commissioner of police, said being the one on ground in the state, the commissioner of police was in a better stead to address the issue.

He said, “The issue should be addressed by the state commissioner of police. He is empowered to do so.”

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By Roving

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