The Benue Youth Forum (BYF) has lauded the relentless efforts of the state governor, Samuel Ortom, to ensure that the lives and property of the people are well secured.
The Forum notes 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 says 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 of bequeathing a well-secured state to the people.
The BYF, in a statement signed by Terrence Kuanum, commended Governor Ortom for the uncommon initiatives and other selfless strides he has made to guarantee the well-being and welfare of the people.
It describes Governor 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 group, therefore, renews the call on President Muhammadu Buhari to grant the request of the Benue state governor to procure automatic weapons for personnel of the state Community Volunteer Guards to enable them to carry out their functions effectively in collaboration with conventional security agencies in the state.
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 double standard that is counter-productive and damaging to the fight against insecurity in the country.
It calls on the Buhari-led administration to shun rhetorics and be committed to its promise to leave Nigeria more secure than it met in 2015 by encouraging states to have functional and effective security networks.
The Benue Youth Forum reminds 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 are 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 urges 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 support for Governor Ortom to curtail the ongoing invasion of Benue communities by Fulani militia, who delight in killing the people, displacing others and creating a huge humanitarian crisis in the state.