CBJ hails Ortom over launch of Volunteer Guards
The Conference of Benue Journalists (CBJ), has described the launch of the Benue State security outfit, codenamed "Community Volunteer Guards" as a genuine step to fight terrorists and criminals wreaking havoc on the state head long.
CBJ in a statement on Monday by its Vice President Mr. Ewache Ajefu said the action of the Benue State government under the leadership of Governor Samuel Ortom was long over due, considering the number of lives and property that have been lost to the series of unprovoked attacks by Fulani militants and other terrorists.
“We are disturbed and disheartened by the latest figure of 5,000 lives lost to unprovoked attacks by terrorists on unarmed citizens in the state since 2011, as revealed recently by the governor. It is now becoming obvious as advocated in different quarters that Nigerians need to defend themselves. Every life matters,” the statement said.
Vice President Ewache lamented that other forms of criminality were beginning to creep into the state due to the inability of the Federal Government to decisively address insecurity.
According to Ewache, the launch of the security outfit was necessary at this time in order to protect the state against further unchallenged attacks.
He said, “we understand that the new security outfit is in line with the Benue State Vigilante Law of 2000, an extant legislation. What the state government has done is not different from the action of many states in the South West and South East where their citizens are exposed to similar frequent orchestrated attacks.”
CBJ therefore, urged the state government to deploy the 500 personnel of the outfit to volatile areas in the state in order to complement existing government security agencies for the protection of lives and property.
"We are in total agreement with the state government's plans to increase the number of the personnel of the outfit to boost the security architecture of the 23 Local Government Areas significantly.
“We however, caution the wrong use of this new security outfit either for political gains or for self aggrandizement by any individual or groups,” the statement said.