New Telegraph

Ortom ready to war with killer herders

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Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom yesterday declared the state government’s readiness to combat terrorism in all forms. Terrorists, believed to be Fulani herdsmen, have continued to wreak havoc in the state, killing scores and displacing thousands. As a result, Ortom has subjected the Federal Government to intense attacks over the latter’s inability to stop the bloodletting in his state.

The governor, who inaugurated the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards (BSCVG) to complement the efforts of conventional security agencies in Makurdi, pledged to apply for licences for AK-47 and AK-49 rifles for the group to enable them to confront the killer herders terrorizing communities.

He said this at the passingout of the first batch of 500 BSCVG officers. Ortom, who lamented that over 5,000 people have been killed by terrorists in the state since 2011, said the state government had provided 200 vehicles, basic facilities, resources and light arms to start the operation. He said: “Given the fact 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 rifles and other sophisticated weapons for the Benue State Volunteers Guards to enable them to tackle these murderous terrorists effectively. “To do this effectively, the state government has approved a two-week capacitybuilding programme for 500 personnel of the Community Volunteer Guards to learn some basic paramilitary aspects.

The training, which began on June 29 with 500 participants drawn from the 23 local government areas and the three senatorial districts, ended on July 12. Ortom said: “Benue State has been especially targeted because of the historic episode of 1804, but also because 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 Islamization agenda.” The Security Adviser to the Governor Paul Hemba said the BSCVG officers were drawn from the paramilitary formations. The Paramount Ruler of the Tiv nation, Tor Tiv James Ayatse, said the BSCVG officers were selected in consultation with the traditional rulers.

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