Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue State, has accused the government of President Muhammadu Buhari of complicity in the attacks by herdsmen in the state.
Ortom who spoke during the passing out procession of the second batch of the State Volunteer Community Guards at IBB Square in Makurdi on Thursday, decried the refusal of President Buhari to respond to his request for licence to purchase AK-47 rifles for the guards.
Ortom stated that he had requested an AK-47 rifles’ licence but had failed to receive a response from the federal government after three months.
He said, “I have on behalf of the Benue State Government applied to the responsible Federal Government Agency for approval to procure automatic weapons, particularly AK-47 assault rifles to further strengthen your logistic support base and your defence capability.
“I am still awaiting approval from the Federal Government to deal accordingly. If there is no reply in the next one month, I will revert to my people to give advice on what to do because the federal government is complicit on the issue of herders’ attacks on the state.”
While claiming that the state and federal governments were trying to transition from community policing to state police, the governor stated that when this occurred, the employees would automatically transition to the state police.
Ortom urged the troops to be apolitical, conscientious, courteous, vigilant, and strong to stay steady and protect the people.
The governor stated that his administration had purchased motor vehicles and motorbikes, as well as other instruments to help them combat crime.
The State Volunteer Community Guards had so far trained 1,500 people, with the government promising to increase that number to 10,000 before he would leave office in 2023.