By Sunday James
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has approved the establishment of vigilante groups to combat the high rate of insecurity in the state.
The Governor disclosed this on Thursday while briefing journalists on the outcome of the expanded stakeholders’ meeting held at the new banquet hall of the Government House.
Ortom, who said renewed attacks on the people by armed herdsmen had overstretched security agencies, noted that the state government had decided to strengthen the state security architecture with the establishment of community volunteer guards (vigilantes).
He said the vigilantes would be constituted from the community to local government levels to complement the operations of conventional security agencies across the state.
Ortom explained that the recruitment process would commence immediately, adding that those to be recruited would be within the age range of 18 to 50 and mostly ex-servicemen.
The governor said the state government has been mandated to support the vigilantes with logistics as provided in the law.
He added that the recruitment of personnel would be carried out in the 23 local government areas of the state.
The governor stated, “Those to be recruited are ex-servicemen and people from 18 to 50 years, and they must have stable sources of income and must have lived in their respective communities for a minimum of six years and they must be of impeccable characters and be loyal.
“All the vigilantes must carry weapons that are licensed so that anytime there is external aggression, they must be able to rise up to defend themselves.”