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Ortom inaugurates volunteer guards, says personnel will get sophisticated weapons

Ortom inaugurates volunteer guards, says personnel will get sophisticated weapons
August 04
19:54 2022

Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue, has inaugurated the first batch of personnel of the state’s security outfit, the ‘community volunteer guards’.

In October 2021, the governor assented to the amended Community Volunteer Guards law of the state, and the amendment empowers the guards to carry weapons legally recognised by the constitution.

The Community Volunteer Guards law was first passed in 2000 during the administration of George Akume, former governor of Benue.

After the amendment to the law in 2021, the state announced the recruitment of persons into the agency, which included “five from each of the kindreds in the state, 10 at the ward level”, while representatives from council wards are to ensure proper supervision of the guards.

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“Those to be recruited must be within the age bracket of 18 to 50 years and should have a means of livelihood,” Ortom had said.

Speaking on Thursday at the passing-out parade of the first batch of 500 members of the agency in Makurdi, the Benue capital, Ortom said the decision to set up the security outfit is part of efforts to address insecurity in the state.

“This very expensive investment would have been avoided if it was not forced upon us by the perpetual siege that vicious terrorists have mounted on our land,” he said.

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“Benue state, with a well-earned nickname as the food basket of the nation, with its arable land and large bodies of fresh water, is now under threat of conquest and occupation by these terrorists.

“The genocidal terrorists have consistently attacked hundreds of Benue communities, burning, killing, raping and maiming thousands of persons and committing other unspeakable atrocities.”

Ortom also said the state government is working on the legal procurement of sophisticated weapons to arm the guards. 

“It is a fact that the federal government has been unable to disarm these tribal terrorists who have continued to maim and kill our people at will,” he said.

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“As a result, the state government will apply for licence to legally procure AK-47, AK-49 and other sophisticated weapons to enable the guards to tackle these murderous terrorists effectively.”

He also expressed optimism that the activities of the security outfit would reduce the attacks in the state “to the barest minimum”.

See photos of the event below.

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