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Ortom signs amended law to allow volunteer guards bear arms

Ortom signs amended law to allow volunteer guards bear arms
October 26
20:01 2021

Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue, on Tuesday, assented to the amended Community Volunteer Guards law of the state.

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The new law empowers local guards to carry weapons legally recognised by the constitution.

The law was first passed in 2000 by the state house of assembly and assented to by George Akume, former governor of Benue.

Ortom explained that over 20 years after, it has become pertinent to amend the law to aid the guards complement the “grossly inadequate” conventional security agents in the fight against insecurity.

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He added that traditional rulers would oversee the recruitment of the guards as it is community-based.

He said five persons would be recruited from each of the kindreds in the state, 10 at the ward level, while the local government would have representatives from council wards to ensure proper management and supervision of the guards.

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

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“I warn that the guards do their work, devoid of politics.”

Ortom has, on several occasions, asked the federal government to allow “responsible” Nigerians to carry “sophisticated weapons” like AK-47 in self-defence.

In another instance, he asked the people of Benue to obtain licences to carry dane guns and defend themselves from invading gunmen.

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