George Okoh in Makurdi
The Benue State Security Council has approved the recruitment of 2,300 personnel for community policing and 460 Community Volunteer Guards (CVGs), to complement the efforts of conventional security agencies.
The Benue State Governor, Mr. Samuel Ortom, who presided over the council’s meeting, said that the decision to embrace community policing was in line with the resolution reached at the North Central Security meeting that was held in Lafia, Nasarawa State in January this year at the instance of the Inspector General of Police.
Ortom explained that 100 community policing personnel and 20 CVGs would be recruited from each local government area of the state and added that both the community policing personnel and those of the CVGs would help the police in intelligence gathering.
He said that the activities of the community guards would be supervised by the Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Internal Affairs at the state level while council chairmen and district heads would take charge at the local government and ward levels respectively.
The governor also said that the boundary between Konshisha and Oju Local Government Areas should be quickly demarcated as quickly as possible and urged for the stakeholders’ cooperation to ensure the return of lasting peace between the two local governments.
The council also recommended the immediate suspension of the District Head of Mbatser/Mbamusa in Konsisha Local Government Area, Mr. Zaki Mbanongun Gbakera, for complicity in the crisis and asked the Raramount ruler of Tiv Nation, Professor James Ayatse, to appoint an acting district head and probe the allegations.
In addition, the council lifted the suspension of three traditional rulers from Sankera axis who were suspended for alleged culpability in the crisis in the area. The affected chiefs are Mr. Ter Chongo, Mr. Ter Ipusu and the District Head of Mbacher in Shitile, Mr. Tyoor Luke Atomigba,.
The traditional rulers were suspended on the August 19, 2019, for the period of six months, for breaching the code of conduct of traditional rulers and of Benue State Council of Chiefs and Traditional Councils Law 2016.
The security council’s meeting also ratified the recommendation of the committee set up to look into the crisis in Sankera area; that Tor Sankera, Chief Abu King Shuluwa, should be relocated to Katsina-Ala, the headquarters of the intermediate area, before the end of July, 2020, to effectively attend to issues within his domain.