By John Charles
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Thursday unveiled the state’s security outfit known as Community Volunteer Guards.
He pledged that his administration would legally procure AK-47, AK-49 and other sophisticated weapons for the group.
Ortom said that 500 personnel drawn from the 23 local government areas of the state were recruited in the first batch.
The new recruits were unveiled during the passing out parade held at IBB Square, Makurdi.
The governor said that his administration decided to constitute the security outfit due to the failure of federal government to disarm the fulani terrorists.
Ortom said, “Benue State has been especially targeted because of the historic episode of 1804, but also because my administration’s insistence on the Rule of Law rather than rule of terror and for always standing with my people in their refusal to surrender their land, identity and Judeo-Christian faith and values to the Islamization agenda.
“Given the fact that the Federal Government has consistently failed to disarm the Fulani terrorists who have continued to maim and kill our people at will, the State Government is going to apply for a License to legally procure AK47, AK49 and other sophisticated weapons for the Benue State Volunteers Guards to enable them tackle these murderous terrorists effectively.
“To do this effectively, the Benue State Government had approved a two-week capacity building programme for Five Hundred (500) personnel of the Community Volunteer Guards to learn some basic paramilitary aspects. The training which began on 29th June, 2022 with five hundred (500) participants drawn from the 23 Local Government Areas and the three Senatorial Districts ended on 12th July, 2022.
“A date for the Batch 2 would also be announced as soon as possible.”
The governor expressed optimism that the unveiling of security outfit will improve the state, stressing, “The issue of banditry, kidnapping, robbery, and most of all, the issue of terrorists Fulani herdsmen attack would be reduced to the barest minimum.”
He assured that operations of the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards would be strictly guided by the law and warned that any personnel found operating outside the said Law would be shown the way out forthwith.
Thirty operational vehicles and 200 Communication gadgets were procured to enable the Volunteer Guards function maximally.