Insecurity: Ortom arms local volunteer security outfit with AK 47 rifles

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The governor of Benue State, Dr Samuel Ortom inaugurated the first batch of personnel for the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards and promised to procure AK 47 rifles for the security outfit.

Speaking at the unveiling of the BSCVG in Makurdi yesterday, the governor said should the federal government refuse to give approval for licence for arms for the security outfit he would get approval from his people.

He said the security personnel would need to carry sophisticated weapons to enable them to tackle security challenges in the state.

“Given the fact that the federal government has consistently failed to disarm the terrorists who have continued to maim and kill our people at will, the state government is going to apply for a licence to legally procure AK-47, AK-49 and other sophisticated weapons for the Benue State Volunteers Guards to enable them tackle these murderous terrorists effectively.

“To do this effectively, the Benue State Government had approved a two-week capacity building programme for 500 personnel of the Community Volunteer Guards to learn some basic paramilitary aspects,” he said.

Speaking on Arise TV later, he reiterated that he would do the wish of the people of the state should President Muhammadu Buhari to approve the use of such arms for the security outfit.

He said he would apply to the president on Friday (today) for licence to allow the guards to carry weapons, including AK-47 and AK-49 rifles.

“The issue of AK-47, AK-49 and other weapons are the prerogative of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. That is why in my inauguration speech today, I said we will seek, and by tomorrow, I’m submitting a letter to the president to grant licence for AK-47, AK49 to our community volunteer guards,” he said.

“More than 5,000 people have been killed in Benue state since 2015, and we cannot allow this to continue.

“My people have asked me to seek Mr. President’s approval for the guards to have approval for licence to carry AK-47.

“In the event that the federal government declines just like recently — I sought N42 billion loan to clear the arrears of salaries, pensions and gratuities which I inherited and they declined because of politics — I will go back again to the people and seek their consent.

“Whatever they tell me to do, I am going to do. That is what I want to assure you. I will not stop them, because self-preservation is the first law of nature,” he added.

The governor promised that the operations of BSCVG would be strictly guided by the law and warned that any official found operating outside the said law would be shown the way out.

He also announced the procurement of vehicles and 200 communication gadgets to enhance the work of the security outfit.

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