Ortom denies deploying volunteer guards against opposition
Benue State government has debunked allegations of the deployment of the volunteer guards against political opponents.
The Benue Coalition on Human Rights (BCHR) had petitioned the President, Inspector-General of Police (IGP), National Security Adviser (NSA) and heads of other security agencies, alleging human rights abuses by the volunteer guards.
The petition signed by the President of (BCHR), Solomon Semaka, and the Secretary, Okwori Onaji, called on the Presidency and relevant security agencies to investigate the activities of the volunteer guards, adding that they might be used to harass political opponents during the 2023 elections.
But the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Col. Paul Hemba (rtd), in a statement, yesterday, described the allegations as a desperate attempt to smear the character and essence of the Benue Community Volunteer Guards.
The state government maintained: “The idea of generating frivolous petitions to blackmail constituted authorities to shield suspects of crime is unacceptable and even the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria frowns on the brewing security challenges within the country.
“Benue government wishes to warn those in the habit of blackmail to desist forthwith from playing politics with issues bordering on security. It is unreasonable and unfathomable to ever imagine that the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards, painstakingly established and sustained by the state government will be for the mere purpose of hunting political enemies.”
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