Benue State Security Council has approved the recruitment of 2,300 personnel of Community Policing and 460 Community Volunteer Guards, also known as Vigilante Group to complement the efforts of conventional security agencies.
Briefing newsmen after the state security meeting which ended Monday evening, Governor Samuel Ortom, who presided over the meeting, said the decision to embrace community policing was in line with the resolution reached at the North Central Security meeting held in Lafia, Nasarawa state in January this year, which was at the instance of the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
The governor said 100 community policing personnel would be recruited from each local government area and 20 Community Volunteer Guards would be recruited for each of the local councils.
He stated further that both the Community Policing Personnel and those of the Community Volunteer Guards would help the Police in intelligence gathering against crime.
The governor said as stipulated in the law, activities of community volunteer guards would be supervised by the permanent secretary, Bureau of Internal Affairs and coordinated at the state level by the secretary. Council chairmen and district heads are expected to coordinate the same at the local and council levels respectively.
On the lingering crisis between Konshisha and Oju, he said the council resolved that the boundary between the two local government areas should be demarcated as quickly as possible and urged all stakeholders to cooperate to ensure the return of lasting peace in the area.
District Head of Mbatser/Mbamusa in Konsisha local government area, Zaki Mbanongun Gbakera was recommended for immediate suspension for complicity in the crisis and the paramount ruler of Tiv nation, Professor James Ayatse, urged to appoint an acting district head and further probe the allegations.
The security council lifted the suspension of three traditional rulers from the Sankera axis who were suspended for alleged culpability in the crisis in the area. The affected chiefs are Mue Ter Chongo, Mue Ter Ipusu and Tyoor Luke Atomigba, district head of Mbacher in Shitile.
The traditional rulers were suspended on August 19, 2019 for six months, for breaching the code of conduct of traditional rulers and 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 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 attend to issues within his domain.