From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has observed that renewed incessant attacks on the State recently has overstretched the security agencies.
The Governor who said this yesterday while briefing newsmen after an expanded stakeholders’ meeting held at the Banquet hall, Government House, maintained that they have decided to change the narrative and seek self help.
He said the State believes in rule of law and due process and as such have decided to dust the law establishing Vigilante Guards which was signed into law in 2000.
“We have looked at the windows to explore in the law and decided to reinforce it by constituting volunteer Guards in all the 23 local government area of the State.
“The local government chairmen will head at that level with the Divisional Police Officers, Department of State Security, DSS, second class,third class and fourth class chiefs as members while the Social welfare officers of the council will serve as secretary.
“At the state level, the state coordinating unit will be chaired by me, the Security to the State Government, the Tor Tiv, Och’Idoma, security agencies, first class chiefs and the local government coordinating unit will also be incorporated. Tax collectors will be five, district level five and 20 members at the local government area.
“The composition of the volunteers’ Guard should include ex-service men and others who must be aged 18 and not above 50 years. They must be employed and should have lived in the community for at least six months, they must not be ex-convict and should possess licenced weapon.
“We must rise up and defend ourselves from external aggression devoid of political and religious sentiments”, Governor stressed.