Benue State Security Council has approved the recruitment of 2,300 persons for community policing and 460 as community volunteer guards, also known as vigilante, to complement the efforts of conventional security agencies.
Governor Samuel Ortom, who presided over the council’s meeting, told newsmen that the decision was in line with the resolution reached at the North Central Security meeting held in Lafia, Nasarawa State, in January this year, at the instance of the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
He explained that 100 community policing personnel and 20 community volunteer guards would be recruited from each council.
According to the governor, the community policing personnel and those of the volunteer guards will help the police in intelligence gathering against crime.
As stipulated by the law, activities of community volunteer guards would be supervised by the Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Internal Affairs, at the state level, while council chairmen and district heads would coordinate same at the council and ward levels respectively, Ortom said.
On the lingering crisis between Konshisha and Oju councils, he said the council resolved that the boundary between the two councils should be demarcated as quickly as possible, urging stakeholders to cooperate to ensure the return of lasting peace to the area.
District Head of Mbatser/Mbamusa in Konsisha, Zaki Gbakera, was recommended for immediate suspension over complicity in the crisis, and the paramount ruler of Tiv nation, Professor James Ayatse, urged to appoint an acting district head while probing the allegations.
The council lifted the suspension of three traditional rulers from Sankera who were banned for alleged culpability in the crisis in the area. They are Mue Ter Chongo, Mue Ter Ipusu and Tyoor Luke Atomigba.
The monarchs were suspended for six months on August 19, 2019, for breaching the code of conduct of traditional rulers and that of Benue State Council of Chiefs and Traditional Councils Law, 2016.
The meeting also ratified the recommendation of the committee set up to look into the crisis in Sankera; that the Tor Sankera, Chief Abu King Shuluwa, should be relocated to Katsina-Ala, the headquarters of the intermediate area, before the end of this month, to effectively attend to issues within his domain.