By Peter Duru, Makurdi
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has urged the second batch of trainees of the State Community Volunteer Guards to be prepared to defend and protect communities of the state from external aggressors.
The Governor gave the charge Sunday when he visited the training camp of the Volunteer Guards at the military shooting range, near Ikpayongo, Gwer East Local Government Area of the state.
Governor Ortom who was accompanied by the lawmaker representing Benue North-East Senatorial District, Senator Gabriel Suswam and other top government officials also participated in the shooting training.
The Governor commended the trainees for exhibiting high level of enthusiasm and commitment which he noted showed their readiness to defend and protect Benue communities against invasion.
He warned the trainees against using “the training you have acquired and the legal weapons that would be provided after your inauguration to engage in criminal acts because anyone who does so would be prosecuted.”
The Governor told the trainees that their recruitment, training and eventual inauguration were properly backed by the law that was enacted by previous administrations, stating that “the Benue State Government under my leadership, only amended the law to make it more effective in line with present challenges.”
Governor Ortom further stated that due to the rising insecurity in the country, the 19 Northern Governors recently met and resolved to strongly advocate for the establishment of State Police, saying “once it is approved you will be the first to be recruited in Benue State.”
Senator Suswam on his part, enjoined the Volunteer Guards trainees to abide by their rules of engagement, saying their good conduct was important to convince the people that had misgivings about the establishment of the security outfit.
He also lauded Governor Ortom for taking the bull by the horn in setting up a security outfit to complement the efforts of conventional security agencies to protect the lives and property of Benue people.
Earlier, Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, Lt. Col. Paul Hemba (retd) said the Volunteer Guards trainees had already undergone three weeks of rigorous training with the shooting experience being the last, saying the visit of the Governor had boosted their morale.