Benue State Governor, on Tuesday, signed into law the amended Community Vigilante bill now to be known as Community Volunteer Guards.
The amended law now permits, personnel of the new Community Volunteer Guards to bear weapons that are permissible by law.
Governor Ortom who noted that the law as another milestone in the life of his administration, said 20 years after it was passed, his administration saw the need to amend the Vigilante Law to complement the conventional security agencies to fight criminalities in the state.
“With the current insecurity and as a law abiding government, we decided to find a lawful way to support our conventional security agencies and it will go a long way to support our people especially at the rural areas.”
According to the Governor, each kindred is to provide five strong able-bodied men and women, 10 from each ward would be recruited into the security outfit while the local government will have representatives from council wards to ensure effective management and supervision of the Guards.
Ortom added that those to be recruited must be within the age bracket of 18-50 and must have a means of livelihood so they are not tempted to do the unwanted.
“I want to warn that the Guard should not be politicized. I believe that if we comply effectively with the provisions of the law and the Benue people support them, the guards will achieve set goals.”
The Governor who also lamented the recent abduction of Benue indigenes in Zamfara State as well as another, a journalist, Tordue Salem who was also abducted in Abuja, urged security agencies to do their best to ensure their release.
Ortom Who decried high rate of kidnapping and armed herdsmen attacks in the country, called on the federal government to nip the ugly trend in the bud.
He said he is in touch with their families and also praying for them to be released safe to be reunited with their loved ones.
Earlier while speaking during the signing ceremony, at the Government House in Makurdi, Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Mike Gusah explained that the old law had lapses saying under the new law, a command structure would now be set up.
The Governor also confirmed Nathaniel Ikyur as his Chief Press Secretary while Dr Charles Iornumbe was also appointed as Director General Radio Benue.
Until his appointment, Ikyur was Principal Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and was recently elevated to the position of acting Chief Press Secretary following the resignation of Terver Akase to pursue his gubernatorial ambition.
Iornumbe was until his appointment, a senior editor with Radio Benue and covering the Government House in Makurdi.
The Governor disclosed that the two appointments take effect from 1st November, 2021.
Credit: Daily Sun