Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Thursday said that his administration would apply for a license to legally procure AK47, AK49 and other sophisticated weapons for the Benue State Volunteers Guards to enable them to tackle terrorists.
Ortom made this known in his address during the passing-out of the first batch of the Benue State Community Volunteer Guard at the IBB square in Makurdi.
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He expressed delight that the dream of the home-grown security outfit in Benue State has become a reality.
The governor said, “In addition, given the fact that the Federal Government has consistently failed to disarm the 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 to tackle these 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.”
Ortom lamented the worsening insecurity in the country saying, “It is owing to this failure that the Benue State Government under my watch decided to revisit the Benue State Vigilante Law of 2000, which was enacted to complement the conventional security agencies in the state to address emerging security issues.
“The law had to be amended by this administration to pave way for the Volunteer Guards to assist the conventional Security Agencies to curb insecurity in the state. By the provisions of the new law, the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards can therefore now carry legally approved weapons which we have duly provided.
“A date for Batch 2 would also be announced as soon as possible. As we all witness the passing-out parade of these able-bodied young men, we believe that security will improve in Benue State.
“It is gratifying to note that Benue State Government has procured 30 Operational Vehicles and 200 Communication gadgets to enable the Volunteer Guards to function maximally. The successes we achieve today would not have been possible without the co-operation of other conventional Security Agencies in the State,” the governor added.