The Benue Youth Forum (BYF) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to agree to Governor Samuel Ortom’s request to buy automatic weapons for the Community Volunteer Guards in the state.
BYF said that giving the guards guns would help them do their jobs well and work with other security agencies in the state.
In a statement released Friday, Forum President Terrence Kuanum made the request.
BYF was also happy that Ortom has been working hard to make sure that people’s lives and property are well protected.
The Forum said that it was good that the Benue Community Volunteer Guards (BCVG) were set up and that more than 1,000 people joined them in August and another 1,000 joined today.
The group said that the initiative and the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of the State are clear signs that the governor wants to leave the people of the state with a safe place to live.
The BYF praised Governor Ortom for the unique steps he has taken and the other selfless things he has done to make sure the people’s well-being and welfare.
The group said Ortom was the perfect leader because he dared the powerful people and enemies of the state, both inside and outside of Benue, to protect the dignity of the Benue man even if it meant he wouldn’t be able to stay in power.
The Forum says that Governor Ortom looks like a man who is ready to face the slaughterhouse or the hangman if it would be for the safety and good of his people and their lives and property.
The BYF thinks that the fact that some local security groups in some states are allowed to carry weapons while those in other states are not is a double standard that hurts the fight against insecurity in the country.
It asked the government led by Buhari to stop using empty words and keep its promise to leave Nigeria safer than it was in 2015 by encouraging states to set up security networks that work.
The Benue Youth Forum reminded the federal government that efforts to secure a place are more effective when local intelligence is used and locals are involved. This is why the federal government should be careful to make sure that local groups are given the freedom to help keep the states safe.
It also thinks that the refusal to let the Benue State government buy arms for the group, even though marauding Fulani herdsmen are killing a lot of people and forcing others to leave their homes, adds to the idea that some well-known Nigerians are helping the people who sell death and working with the people who pay them.
The group asked the people of Benue, especially those in politics, to keep the Benue Community Volunteer Guards from being disbanded and to help Governor Ortom get permission to arm the group for the good of the whole state.
Some troublemakers have said that the BCVG was made by a certain political party to shut down other parties during the election. The Forum says that this is not true, and that a body made by law with input from all important stakeholders across party lines and sectors cannot become a tool in the hands of one part of society.
The BYF promises Governor Ortom that it will do everything it can to stop Fulani militia from coming into Benue communities over and over again and killing people, forcing others to leave their homes, and causing huge humanitarian crises in the state.