By Peter Duru, Makurdi

The Benue State Government will this week formally submit an application to President Muhammadu Buhari for approval for licences to procure AK 47 and AK 49 riffles on behalf of the newly established Benue State Community Volunteer Guards.

Governor Samuel Ortom made this known in Makurdi at the reception organised by the President, Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Cosmas Idye to mark his 35 years of marriage and call to the bar of his son.

He said the state government did not contravene the Constitution of the Federation and was therefore right to have passed the law establishing the security outfit, “which is designed to assist the conventional security agencies in fighting crime in the state.”

The Governor maintained that “as long as we make laws that are not in conflict with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we are right in establishing the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards.”

He said his office had concluded the necessary arrangements to forward the letter to President Buhari who he acknowledged “is constitutionally empowered to grant such licences and I hope the President would give it a favourable consideration.”

The Governor emphasized that although the law establishing the state security outfit empowered it to carry certain categories of weapons, there was a compelling need for them to bear AK 47 and AK 49 riffles to match the weapon the Fulani terrorists that had been killing people of the state carry.

The Governor however said in the event the President declines to grant the licence, he would fall back to Benue Stakeholders to know the next step to take, saying he and the people would not be intimidated to surrender Benue land to the aggressors.

He also reiterated the determination of his administration to work in harmony with the Legislative and Judicial arms of Government to strengthen democratic structures, stressing that he had consistently promoted the autonomy of the other arms.

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