By Peter Duru, Makurdi
The Benue Youth Forum, BYF, has berated the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state for castigating the Benue state government for recently establishing the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards, BSCVG, to complement efforts of the conventional security agencies to stem insecurity in the state.
It would be recalled that some leading members of the APC in the state had come out to express doubts about the timing and intention of the state government to have the security outfit in place saying it could be for the purpose of intimidating political opponents.
Outraged by the position of the APC, the BYF in a statement in Makurdi by its National President, Terrence Kuanum said it noted with utter dismay and surprise the attempt by the APC to deride the genuine effort of Benue people and the state government to complement the efforts of the conventional security agencies to protection lives and properties in state.
The Forum described as “unfortunate, callous and mindless, the desperate move by the political party under whose leadership at the centre, the security system in the country has crumbled leading to various states and regions taking initiatives to come up with local and sustainable security outfits to safeguard the lives and property of their people, to come up with such a lame attack.
“BYF challenges the APC to come up with a better solution towards tackling the security situation in the state which has been heightened by the failure of the federal government to provide ample leadeship in curbing the incessant massacre of people in all parts of the country.”
The body wondered “why the Benue APC sought to impinge the importance of having a local security outfit to work with other agencies to forestall further killings and displacement of the people from their ancestral homes.”
It also posited as laughable “the lame allegations by the dying political party in Benue state that the volunteer guards were ill-prepared, untrained and were meant to complicate the security situation in the state.
“BYF also finds it funny and contradictory that APC questioned Governor Samuel Ortom’s timing of the outfit and turned around to suggest that he would have done that earlier.
The Forum queried “why the APC which has deliberately resorted to conspiracy of silence over the invasion of Benue communities and killing of the dwellers suddenly developed amnesia, questioning efforts to sustain the outfit after governor Ortom clearly stated how the modus operandi of the Guards and the template to ensure that the BCVG outlived him.”
The BYF also carpeted the APC for claiming that Governor Ortom had a reputation for poor funding of state institutions, “when of a truth, it is the APC-led Federal Government that has the penchant for politicizing Benue State government’s efforts to access loans to finance its institutions and meet other obligations even though, same approach has been the APC led federal government’s life wire.”
The group said it was rather nauseating for the APC to call on conventional security agencies to monitor the activities of the volunteer guards, “when in essence, the security formations in the state were carried along from the formation, recruitment, training and inauguration of the guards.”
It debunked insinuations that “the BSCVG, which is a creation of the law might be used by the Benue State government against political opponents.”
The group reminded the party that “it is the APC-led administration that has the mentality of using security outfits, especially those paid by taxpayers money to molest innocent civilians.
The BYF also enjoined the APC not to feign ignorance of the fact that “the security situation in the North-Central has worsened because of the APC governors in the region have conspired to frustrate moves to have a regional outfit similar to the “Amotekun” in the South-West and “Ebube-Agu” in the South-East.
“The BYF call on the APC to come down from its high horse and commend Governor Ortom for taking a bold step as usual, towards taming the monster threatening the efforts to curb security challenges in the state.”
The Forum encouraged the APC “who have a tradition of justifying the killings of their kit and kin for political correctness to tell the governors of Niger, Plateau and Kogi states where the security architecture are almost collapsing, as well as Nasarawa state where the governor recently confirmed that terrorists are converging, to emulate the pace setter, Governor Ortom to snatch their states from the claws of terrorists and armed Fulani herdsmen.”
The Forum urged the BSCVG not to be deterred “by the antics of enemies of the state who have surrendered their voices to please those wrecking havoc on the people of the state.
“We also urge the people of Benue state to support the members of the BCVG and other security agencies in the state to safeguard their lives and property.”