Benue people’s refusal to cede land, faith fuelled attacks by herders
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has said that his insistence and that of the Benue people not to surrender their land is the reason for incessant attacks and killings in the state.
Ortom stated this at the Passing Out Parade (POP) for the Community Volunteer Guards (CVG) at IBB Square, Makurdi, yesterday.
The over 500 personnel of the security outfit were recruited from the 23 local councils of the state to work with conventional security agents to tame insecurity.
Ortom, who congratulated the pioneer volunteers and their commanders for completing the rigorous training in readiness for the mission to help secure communities in the state, commended the House of Assembly, local councils, traditional rulers, religious leaders and other stakeholders that contributed to making the dream of a home-grown security outfit in the state a reality.
Pledging that his administration would procure sophisticated weapons, including AK-47 and AK-49 rifles for the guards, the governor explained that the setting up of the security outfit was due to the Federal Government’s failure to disarm the Fulani terrorists.
“Given that the Federal Government has consistently failed to disarm the Fulani 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 volunteer guards to enable them to tackle these murderous terrorists effectively.
“To do this effectively, the Benue government had approved a two-week capacity-building programme for 500 personnel of the CVG to learn some basic paramilitary skills. The training, which began on June 29, 2022, with 500 participants from the 23 local councils, ended on July 12, 2022,” he said.
According to the governor, a date for the second batch will be announced soon, adding:
“Benue has been especially targeted because of the historic episode of 1804, my administration’s insistence on the Rule of Law, rather than the rule of terror, and for always standing with my people in their refusal to surrender their land, identity and Judeo-Christian faith and values to the Islamisation agenda.”
Maintaining that operation of the CVG would be strictly guided by the law, he warned that any person found operating outside the law would be shown the way out forthwith.
Thirty operational vehicles and 200 communication gadgets were procured to enable the guard’s function maximally.