By Peter Duru, Makurdi
The Benue Youths Forum, BYF, has said personnel of the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards, BSCVGs, are not immune to the law and are operating under strict supervision of the conventional security agencies saying they would be sanctioned appropriately if found wanting.
The forum urged anyone with any unsavory experience with any member of the guards to go through legal channels to express his or her grievances, rather than resorting “to painting all the operatives with one brush.”
The President of the BYF, Terrence Kuanum in a statement on Monday in Makurdi noted that “the BSCVGs is a creation of the law which came into existence through a legislation that was made with input from various stakeholders across different segments of the state and can’t be abolished by mere allegations that cannot be substantiated in the first place.”
Kuanum was reacting to a recent petition by the Benue Coalition on Human Rights who called on the Presidency and security agencies to investigate the activities of the BSCVGs for being used to hunt political enemies.
He stated that “the creation of the BSCVGs to compliment the conventional security agencies is probably yielding results, hence the desperation of those perpetrating violence in the state to see it disbanded.
“The BYF also wonders why a group that openly supports the creation of local security outfits and arming them with weapons in other parts of the country, would turn around to be highly against a similar outfit which has been denied the permission to bear arms by the Federal Government for obvious reasons.”
They commended Governor Samuel Ortom “for observing due diligence and obeying the rule of law in creating the BSCVGs which is also contributing to tackling insecurity in the state.
“We equally renew our call on members of the security outfit to be law abiding and committed to the task of protecting the state legally. We also declare our support for the BSCVGs and urge the Benue State government not to be deterred by misguided elements, sponsored by political desperados to distract the Ortom-led administration.”