The Benue State Government says nobody can stop its Community Volunteer Guards from investigating criminal activities, insisting it was a creation of the law.
State Governor, Samuel Ortom was reacting to a petition by a group known as, Benue Coalition on Human Rights, to the Presidency alleging that the outfit was being used to hunt political enemies.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Security Matter, Paul Hemba, the Governor described the allegation as “misleading and a desperate attempt to smear the character and essence of the Benue Community Volunteer Guards, which must be resisted confrontationally.”
He stated that the establishment of the security outfit followed due process, noting that the formation was approved by the State Security Council and was duly passed into law by the Benue State House of Assembly, and was assented to by the Governor.
“The modus operandi of the Guards allows them to assist conventional security agencies in combating criminality as they are not under the control and caprice of local government chairmen,” Ortom defended.
He further argued that Ado Local Government whose Chairman was accused of using the state security outfit to hunt political enemies, has in recent times suffered a plethora of security challenges leading to the death of many and the destruction of properties worth hundreds of millions of Naira.
“Most recently and specifically, on the 8th and 9th of November, 2022, over 30 persons were killed in communities within Ado Local Government, a tragedy that prompted all security agencies to undertake a manhunt on the culprits; in the course of which suspects were arrested and handed over to the police,” he explained.
The Governor stated that the Benue Community Volunteer Guards is not under the control of any local government and are not in anyway being used to witch-hunt political enemies as alleged by the human rights group.
(Editor: Terverr Tyav)