From Msughshima Andrew, Makurdi
Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has sued for collaboration between the Benue Sate Vigilantee Group and other security agencies working in the state to enable them curb insecurity.
This is coming barely a week after Benue State Stakeholders, at a three day conflict transfornation, human rights and dialogue training in Makurdi, also called for the strengthening of synergy between security agencies working in Benue to curb insecurity.
Governor Ortom stated this while commissioning 14 patrol vehicles purchased by the state vigilante group.
Ortom who commended the group for setting the pace in answering his clarion call concerning security in the state said “security for lives and property is not just the duty of government alone but that of everyone; the communities, security agencies and all of us.
The Governor who described the effort of the vigilante as noble, commendable and worth surplorting urged them to collaborate with other security agencies to ensurw results.
“You must work closely with the conventional security, traditional rulers and the local government to support the security architecture of our state.
“You must also collaborate with the livestock guard, the police, the army and the civil defense in order to eliminate armed robbery, kidnappings assasinations and other security challenges in the state.
He advised them to obey the laws of the land and stick to the rules of the game as they go about their operations in the various communities.
The leader of Benue vigilante, George Mbeke, said they decided to procure the 14 vehicles after they met in 2018 to deliberate on it when the operational vehicles given to them were retrieved and given to other security agencies in the state in the height of insecurity challenges.
He said despite the meager sum they were being given on a monthly basis, they had to save to procure the 14 vehicles ( 12 Siena buses and two Hilux vans) that will be given to local government to enable move around and nip crime in the bud.
Meanwhile, stakeholders at the training organized by an international NGO, Search For Common Ground, stated that security challrnges in Benue can be addressed through Inter- Agency synergy, enhancing capacity for early warning and early response systems in the state.
Among other recommendations, they also advised that Government, CSOs and Traditional Institutions should deepen advocacy on changing Policies, laws or customs that creates negative perspectives and perceptions on certain group of persons that further breeds conflict.