The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has directed the arrest of the leaders of Benue Hunters and Forest Security, a vigilante group that the government describes as illegal, for the breach of public peace on the streets of the state capital, Markurdi.
Video footages showing members of the group forcibly shaving the head of an unidentified lady and harassing other members of the public were greeted with outrage by Nigerians on social media.
One of the footage, which emerged on social media on Tuesday, showed members of the group brandishing automatic weapons, and harassing motorists.
Another footage showed members of the group using scissors to forcibly cut the hair of a young lady sitting on the ground.
In a statement on Wednesday by Nathaniel Ikyur, his media aide, Mr Ortom washes the hands of the state government from the actions of the group.
“The Hunters and Forest Security Guards is not a creation of the Benue State Government and we absolutely do not have any relationship with it in whatever form. As the Chief Security Officer of the State, I am appalled by the unlawful acts of these people and I condemn this in unequivocal terms and state categorically that my government has nothing to do with this group and its actions,” he said.
The governor added that his government will not stand by while lawless persons are allowed to maltreat residents of the state.