John Charles, Makurdi
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has urged the Federal Government to allow responsible citizens to protect themselves with weapons such as AK-47 rifles as part of measures to curb the rising insecurity in the country.
This was contained in a statement on Wednesday by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, titled, ‘National Security: Gov Ortom Proposes The Way Forward’.
The statement read, “Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has urged the Federal Government to grant licences to responsible citizens to carry sophisticated weapons such as AK47 to deter criminals from attacking innocent and helpless Nigerians.
“He says the policy should be backed by a strict legal framework to prevent illegal possession of arms by the citizenry without exception.
“These were some of the submissions contained in the paper Governor Ortom presented yesterday during the virtual meeting convened by Centre for Values in Leadership, CVL, in collaboration with Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF.
“In the paper titled ‘Insecurity and Governance Challenges in the New Normal’, the Governor said governments at all levels must come to terms with the fact that insecurity is a real threat to development of the country and be willing to sincerely tackle the menace.
“He also recommended adequate funding of security agencies and continuous training of their personnel to enable them be abreast of global dynamics in the fight against insecurity.
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“The Governor urged the Federal Government to embrace ranching as it is the global best practice of animal husbandry and enact a law to end open grazing which often comes with attacks on farming communities by armed herdsmen militia.
“Governor Ortom also advocated improved educational standards and enhanced public enlightenment campaigns to give the people, particularly youths the needed orientation to shun negative acts and become more patriotic.
“He called for the repositioning of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency through training, funding and logistics to successfully confront drug barons and peddlers; a move he said would stop illegal drugs from entering and circulating in the country.
“Governor Ortom also recommended that the embargo on employment be lifted and more job opportunities created to take Nigerian youths from the streets.
“He tasked the federal, state and local governments to show greater commitment to developing the agricultural value chain to generate more jobs for Nigerians.
“Governor Ortom concluded his presentation by stating that Benue State has made significant contributions to national development and as the food basket of the nation, if the state is threatened by insecurity, the negative impact would be on the entire country.
“He, therefore, solicited the support of all stakeholders in tackling security challenges and pledged the resolve of his administration to ensuring the safety of lives and property.”