From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
Benue State Security Council has resolved to strengthen the state laws on ranching, kidnapping, cultism and other related crimes to ensure that stiffer penalties follow offences.
Chairman of the Security Council and Governor of the state, Samuel Ortom, who briefed journalists today at the end of the Council’s meeting held at the Benue Peoples House Makurdi said the rule of law must prevail in the state.
He stated that Council resolved to amend necessary laws to provide more stringent punishments to offenders, stressing that a holistic appraisal of the security situation in the state was also considered including the influx of herdsmen and their cattle.
The Governor disclosed that a committee has been set up to critically look into sections of the law that needed amendments.
Governor Ortom acknowledged the excellent performance of security agents in fighting crime and banditry in the State, pointing out that his earlier comment on security agencies being over-stretched was misconstrued.
According to him, his comment was to encourage the authorities concerned to do more in providing better equipment; additional personnel and funding to enable security agents perform their functions optimally.
On the recent attack on parts of Kwande Local Government Area, Governor Ortom said Council agreed on the best way to tackle the situation in order to guarantee the safety of lives and property in the area.
He also, appealed to people of Agila in Ado local government of the State and Ngbo of Ebonyi State to allow for concession of the boundary demarcation.
“We want to assure the people that we are on top of security situation in the State. We are doing well. We have been able to reduce kidnapping to its barest minimum. Cultism is one area that is complicated because very high profile people are involved. So, these are areas we want to strengthen the law to see how we can lay hands on these high profile people and also, punish them to serve as detergent to others”, Ortom said.