Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has charged the second batch of trainees of the State Community Volunteer Guards to be ready to protect communities of the state from external invaders.
The Governor gave the charge when he visited the training camp of the Volunteer Guards trainees at the military shooting range, near Ikpayongo, Gwer East Local Government Area.
Governor Ortom who was accompanied by the Senator representing Benue North-East Senatorial District, Senator Gabriel Suswam and other top government officials participated in the shooting training.
Addressing the trainees, Governor Ortom commended them for exhibiting a high level of enthusiasm and commitment which he noted shows their readiness to defend and protect Benue communities against invasion.
He charged the trainees not to use the training they have acquired and the legal weapons that would be provided for them after their inauguration to engage in criminal acts, warning that anyone who does so would be prosecuted.
The Governor told the trainees that their recruitment, training and eventual inauguration were properly backed by a law that was enacted by previous administrations, stating that the Benue State Government under his leadership, only amended the law to make it more effective in line with present challenges.
Governor Ortom further stated that due to the rising insecurity in the country, the nineteen Northern Governors recently met and resolved to strongly advocate for the establishment of State Police, saying once it was approved, the Volunteer Guards would be the first to be recruited in Benue State.
Senator Suswam on his part, enjoined the Volunteer Guards trainees to abide by their rules of engagement, saying their good conduct was important to convince people that seem to have misgivings about the establishment of the security formation.
He also lauded Governor Ortom for taking the bull by the horn in setting up a security outfit to complement the efforts of conventional security agencies to protect the lives and property of Benue people.
Earlier, Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, Lt. Col. Paul Hemba (rtd) said the Volunteer Guards trainees have already undergone three weeks of rigorous training with the shooting experience being the last, saying the visit of the Governor has boosted their morale.
In another development, Governor Ortom stated that his criticism of the Federal Government was to make the government work better for the people and not to vilify the office of the President as being wrongly perceived by others.