The Benue Youth Forum, BYF, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to grant the request of the state Governor, Samuel Ortom, to procure automatic weapons for personnel of the state Community Volunteer Guards.
BYF said arms would enable the guards carry out their functions effectively in collaboration with conventional security agencies in the state.
The Forum made the call in a statement signed by its President, Terrence Kuanum, on Friday.
BYF also expressed pleasure that with Ortom’s relentless efforts to ensure the lives and property of the people are well secured.
The Forum noted that the establishment of the Benue Community Volunteer Guards, BCVG and the inauguration of over 1000 personnel in August and another batch of 1,000 today, is laudable.
The group said the initiative, coupled with the promulgation of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of the State, are clear pointers to the fact that the governor is desirous to bequeath a well-secured state to the people.
The BYF commended Governor Ortom for the uncommon initiatives and other selfless strides he has made to guarantee the well-being and welfare of the people.
The group described Ortom as the ideal leader for daring the powers that be and the enemies of the state both from within and outside Benue just to protect the dignity of the Benue man even at the expense of his political survival.
The Forum observes that governor Ortom stands as a man who is ready to face the slaughter slab or the hangman if that would be for the good and security of the lives and property of his people.
The BYF views the situation whereby personnel of local security outfits in some states are allowed to bear arms, while others are denied the same as a double standard that is counter-productive and inimical to the fight against insecurity in the country.
It called on the Buhari-led administration to shun rhetorics and be committed to its promise to leave Nigeria more secure than it met it in 2015, by encouraging states to have functional and effective security networks.
The Benue Youth Forum reminded the federal government that efforts to secure a place yield more results when local intelligence is deployed and the locals are actively involved, hence the need to be deliberate in ensuring that localised outfits were given the leeway to contribute to providing security in the states.
It also feels that refusing to grant the Benue State government’s request to procure arms for the outfit even amidst the massive invasion of communities, killing of the people and displacement of others by marauding Fulani herdsmen further fuels suspicion that some high-profile Nigerians were abetting and enabling the merchants of death and collaborating with their sponsors.
The body enjoined Benue people, especially the political class, to avoid demarketing the Benue Community Volunteer Guards and team up with Governor Ortom in his efforts to obtain permission to arm the outfit for the good of the entire state.
The Forum describes as unfortunate the tagging of the BCVG by some mischief makers as a creation of a certain political party to suppress others during the election, saying a body created by law after input by all important stakeholders across party lines and sectors cannot become a tool in the hands of one section of the society.
The BYF pledges its total support for Governor Ortom to curtail the incessant invasion of Benue communities by Fulani militia, who delight in killing the people, displacing others and creating huge humanitarian crises in the state.
Benue: Buhari asked to grant Ortom’s request of arming security outfit