According to the announcement, Justice Lawal would take the oath of office at 11 am in the Supreme Court’s Main Courtroom.

According to the announcement, Justice Lawal would take the oath of office at 11 am in the Supreme Court's Main Courtroom.

According to the announcement, Justice Lawal would take the oath of office at 11 am in the Supreme Court’s Main Courtroom.. Benue State Community Volunteer Guards members have been ordered by Governor Samuel Ortom to stay watchful and guard their villages against terrorists determined to invade and seize their lands.

During the second batch of the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards’ passing out parade on Thursday, October 13, 2022 at the IBB Square in Makurdi, the governor issued a directive to the security force asking them to strictly adhere to the law and refrain from getting involved in politics while performing their duties.

In order to uphold the trust placed in you by the people, Governor Ortom urged the command structure of the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards to rigorously adhere to the law. Maintain your impartiality, rigor, politeness, vigilance, and strength to stay steadfast and defend the populace.

The Governor stated, “I have requested permission on behalf of the Benue State Government to purchase automatic firearms, notably AK47 assault rifles, to further reinforce your logistic support base and your defense capacity. I’m still waiting for federal government permission before I can act appropriately.

This significant move toward self-defense is undoubtedly a rallying cry for all patriotic and nationalistic Nigerians to come up, support our cause, and do their fair share to preserving our lives and nationhood.

“I would seek the counsel of Benue people on the next line of action as I have their mandate,” he said, adding that if the Federal Government continues to turn a blind eye to the State Government’s request for the license to buy legal firearms for the Volunteer Guards to reduce insecurity.

According to him, “State Governments are now working with the Federal Government of Nigeria towards shifting from community policing to State Police,” and “When this inevitably becomes a reality, we will offer the existing Community Volunteer Guards the preemptive rights to join the State Police.” In other words, the first right of refusal.

The Benue State Government has decided to train an additional 1,100 personnel to the 500 previously trained and inaugurated on August 4, 2022, according to Governor Ortom, who also stated that the goal is to recruit 10,000 Volunteer Guards before the end of his administration. This decision was made to improve the effective operation and proper coverage of the State.

“I want to emphasize once more that the purpose of the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards Law, as modified, is to support the official security agencies, particularly the Nigeria Police, in Benue State’s efforts to prevent crime and secure people’s lives and property.

“I think that the recent wave of heinous murders and kidnappings of Nigerians, especially on unguarded rural farmers, tourists, and helpless students, has left all well-intentioned Nigerians feeling extremely challenged.

As Nigerians, “we all have a responsibility to check this evil, the entry of those who are poised to destroy, take over and control our riches and destiny as a nation,” stressed Governor Ortom.

He continued, “The training and passing-out of the second batch of Benue State Community Volunteer Guards is not just a mere celebration of the participation of the people in protecting themselves, but also a milestone in the effort to ensure a stable, peaceful, and united Nigeria where all and sundry shall enjoy equal rights and God-given freedom.”

The Governor gave the Volunteer Guards a pledge of support and mentioned that the State Government had already acquired the necessary tools in accordance with the law and sent them to the Nigeria Police for the Volunteer Guards to utilize in efficient crime combat.

As part of the crucial logistical instruments for combatting crime, extra motor vehicles and motorbikes have been acquired and will be made available to you today.

Governor Ortom praised the security agencies’ commitment to tackling the threat of insecurity nationwide and asked them to continue being steadfast and dedicated to protecting the nation.

The State Government is receiving positive feedback on the operation of the Volunteer Guards since the induction of the first batch, according to Lt. Col. Paul Hemba, Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, who also reported that members of the security formation detained members of the Cameroonian terrorist organization known as Ambazonian fighters in the Kwande Local Government area.

He stated that efforts were also underway to obtain boats for the monitoring of the waterways to check for any security incursions and that the Security Council had approved the creation of a maritime wing of the Volunteer Guards.

The second group of Volunteer Guards, according to the Security Adviser, received training from military and paramilitary experts in areas like practical weapon handling, radio communication skills, intelligence gathering, and unarmed combat. He also noted that they were legally allowed to carry unrestricted light weapons.

In his remarks, the Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly and candidate for governor for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Engr. Titus Uba, said the Assembly had approved the creation of a state police to increase security throughout the nation. He also noted that the Assembly had amended the State Vigilante Law of 2000, which had allowed for the creation of Community Volunteer Guards.

In separate goodwill messages, His Royal Majesty Elaigwu Odogbo of the Och’Idoma and Professor James Ayatse of the Tor Tiv, who was represented by Chief Ambrose Iortyer of the Tor Kwande, guaranteed the support of the traditional institution for the Volunteer Guards’ success.

The formation of the Volunteer Guards, they claimed, was not intended to wage war against any ethnic group or the state’s neighbors but rather to supplement the work of conventional agencies in providing security for lives and property, particularly in the most rural areas. They claimed Governor Ortom is fighting for a just cause and that the Volunteer Guards have no intention of doing so.

Timothy Hembaor, the president general of the Tiv Youth Organization, also made a goodwill statement on behalf of other youth and sociocultural groups in the state, indicating the youths’ willingness to fend against the Benue communities’ incursion.