Governor Samuel Ortom has appealed to indigenes of Benue State, especially those in the diaspora, to support the government in providing logistics to the Community Volunteer Guards and other security agencies in the state to enhance their operations.
Governor Ortom made the appeal Thursday December 22nd, 2022 at the Benue People’s House, Makurdi, while presenting vehicles and motorcycles to Volunteer Guards, Livestock Guards and traditional rulers.
They include 23 Innoson pick-up vehicles and 460 motorcycles for the Community Volunteer Guards, two security vehicles and 30 motorcycles for the Livestock Guards and 279 motorcycles for district and clan heads.
The governor stated that since the launch of the Community Volunteer Guards, the security outfit has effectively worked with the conventional security agencies and is on record to have halted activities of criminal elements across the state.
“I urge all Benue citizens wherever they are, in the diaspora and other parts of country, to step forward and support the Livestock Guards and Community Volunteer Guards who are in every kindred in Benue State. Give them food, water and money to ensure that they do their work very well,” he said.
Governor Ortom reiterated his call on the people not to be hostile to security personnel in their domain, saying cases of misconduct should be reported to the appropriate authorities as they have a “regimented arrangements to deal with anyone who goes against the law”.
While expressing appreciation to the Tiv and Idoma traditional councils for standing solidly behind his administration’s commitment to the security measures his administration has taken to secure the state, the governor emphasised that there is no going back on the Open Grazing and Prohibition and Ranches Law.
According to the governor, “any person who brings herds of cattle to graze openly in this state will be arrested. There is a law prohibiting open grazing. If you want to stay in Benue State you can come and stay but you must respect the laws of the land. You must ranch but if you think you are above the law, the security agencies are here to apprehend you.”
The special adviser to the governor on security natters, Colonel Paul Hemba, rtd; representatives of the Tor Tiv, Chief Moses Anageende, and Chief Innocent Alidu who spoke on behalf of the district and clan heads, all thanked the governor for the vehicles and assured that they will be used judiciously to help improve the lives of the people.
Governor Ortom had earlier signed the 2023 appropriation bill of N179.8 billion passed by the State House of Assembly into law shortly before the commencement of the State Executive Council.
The budget has N106 billion as recurrent expenditure and N73.5 billion naira as capital expenditure. The governor thanked the Benue State House of Assembly for passing the appropriation bill within record time.
According to the governor, “We have done this in the last seven years and today we are doing it for the last time in the lifespan of this administration. This is the last budget that we are going to preside over and hand it to the incoming administration.”
The speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Engineer Titus Uba, said the House painstakingly went through the budget clause by clause to ensure a budget that will help develop the state.
Engineer Uba who was represented by the deputy speaker, Christopher Adaji, noted that as “legislators and people that were voted by various constituencies, they would continue to make laws for the good governance of the state.”