The Benue State Government has hinted it would formally submit an application to President Muhammadu Buhari this week for approval for licences to procure AK 47 and AK 49 riffles on behalf of the newly established Benue State Community Volunteer Guards.
His Chief Press Secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur in a statement said, the governor made this known on Sunday, August 7th, 2022 at the reception organised by the President, Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Cosmas Idye to mark his 35 years of marriage and call to the bar of his son, Marcel Idye.
He said the state government did not contravene the constitution of the Federation and was therefore right to have passed the law establishing the security outfit, which is designed to assist the conventional security agencies in fighting crime in the state.
The Governor maintained that “As long as we make laws that are not in conflict with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we are right in establishing the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards.”
Governor Ortom insisted that his office has concluded the necessary arrangements to forward the letter to President Buhari who he acknowledged is constitutionally empowered to grant such licences and expressed hope the President would give it a “favourable consideration.”
He emphasized that although the law establishing the state security outfit empowers it to carry certain categories of weapons, there was a compelling need for them to bear AK 47 and AK 49 to match what the Fulani terrorists have that are killing people of the state.
The Governor however said in the event the President declines to grant the licence, he would fall back to Benue Stakeholders to know the next step to take, saying he and the people cannot be intimidated to surrender the land to the aggressors.
He also reiterated the determination of his administration to work in harmony with the Legislative and Judicial arms of Government to strengthen democratic structures, stressing that he has consistently promoted the autonomy of the other arms.
Governor Ortom and his wife, Dr. Eunice had earlier joined other dignitaries at a thanksgiving service in honour of a businessman, Chief Felix Akiga who celebrated his 60th birthday.
The Thanksgiving services, which took place at St. Dominic Shachi and NKST Church, Lobi, Makurdi drew dignitaries across the country, including the new President Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, his Eminence, Reverend Daniel Okoh.
Speaking at the Church service, Governor Ortom described the celebrant as a great son of Benue who has touched lives using his hard-earned resources to reach out to the less privileged.
The Governor stated that what Chief Akiga has done both internationally and locally to add value to humanity was what God expects of every individual and urged those in privileged positions to emulate him.
In his remarks, the President of CAN, His Eminence, Reverend Daniel Okoh stressed the importance of appreciating God for his grace, recounting that if not for God’s protection, he would not have been alive.
The CAN President who thanked God for preserving the life of Mr. Felix Akiga providing him with the resources to serve God and humanity appealed to others to imbibe the spirit of always thanking God for what he has done for them no matter how little.
Tor Tiv, Professor James Ayatse enjoined those who have registered for their Permanent Voters Cards, PVCs to ensure that they collect the PVCs to enable them to participate in next year’s election by voting credible people into office.
The business mogul, Mr. Felix Akiga said the Thanksgiving was to appreciate God for preserving his life and making him successful in the course of his sixty years journey and promised to rededicate his life to serving God.
Other dignitaries include the Executive Secretary of TETFUND, Arc Sonny Echono, former Deputy Governor of Benue State, Chief Steven Lawani and Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos, Prof. Ishaya Tanko among many others.