Benue to Launch New Security Outfit

George Okoh in Makurdi

Benue State Governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, has said the state government will launch its own local security outfit that will consist of ten thousand youths before the end of May 2024, to complement the efforts of the other security agencies in tackling security challenges bedeviling the state.

Governor Alia stated this last Tuesday during the stakeholders meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held at Government House, Makurdi.

The governor, who appreciated the efforts of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the security agencies in securing the country and the state, said the launch of the state-owned security outfit will aid in securing Benue communities, enabling farmers to access their farm lands without fear.

He said his administration is already working towards procuring Hilux vans and motorcycles that will be used by the security outfit to access every nook and cranny of the state.

On the reason for the stakeholders meeting, the governor said it became necessary to enable him brief the members of the party on the plans the government has in place to arrest the security challenge.  

Adding that the government had written to the Commissioner of Police, intimating him of the necessity and urgency of the meeting, saying the commissioner gave the go ahead for the meeting before it was convened, especially as the ban on political gatherings is still in force in the state.

He informed the stakeholders that some enemies of the state had gone to invite unknown gunmen to come into Benue State and destabilise its peace, but that the government has been able to push the invaders back to where they came from, and will continue to do so until they are all gone, to enable the farmers return to their farms to ensure food security for the state.

The governor explained, however, that some local government areas such as Kwande, Ukum, Logo, Gwer East, Gwer West, Guma, Apa, Agatu, are still affected by the attacks, but that the state government will not rest on its oars until the state becomes much safer.

Speaking on some of his achievements in office, the governor said his administration has made tremendous efforts in almost all the sectors, including the construction of rural and urban roads, assuring the people that he will do more to make Benue a greater state.

He said even though the government has made a lot of impact in the health sector, with the recruitment of over 400 specialists and non-specialist staff at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, it still intends to revamp both the primary and secondary healthcare systems across the state, adding that the School of Nursing will also be re-opened, with the government paying half of the tuition fees for students of Benue State indigenes who will be returning back there to study.

Alia also intimated of his administration’s plan to reintroduce scholarship award to students of the state, encourage  skills acquisition programmes for the youths as well as to encourage the study of science related courses.

While appreciating the federal government for the award of the overpass at Wurukum roundabout, the governor said over 50 other road networks have also been awarded by the state government across the state, and are to be completed within 12 months.

He said although some people are not happy that his administration is doing things differently from the past, he would continue to ensure the right thing is done for the overall good of the state.

Alia appreciated the stakeholders and the entire leadership of the party for always supporting his administration, calling on the Benue State Independent Electoral Commission (BSIEC) to fast-track the process for the conduct of the local government elections in the state.

Earlier, in his welcome address, the acting state Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon. Benjamin Omakolo, appreciated the governor for his continued support and leadership to both the party and the state, insisting that there is no disunity in the party under his watch, assuring them that he will continue to promote unity, fairness and collaboration with party faithful and stakeholders ahead of the local government elections in the state.

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