Benue State Security Council has approved the recruitment of 2,300 personnel for the immediate commencement of community policing in the state. The council also approved the recruitment of another set of 460 youths into the state’s Community Volunteer Guards, also known as Vigilante Group, to complement services of the conventional security agencies in the area of intelligence gathering.
These were part of the decisions reached at the end of the council meeting held on Thursday, in Makurdi, which also directed the immediate suspension the District Head of Mbatser/Mbamusa in Konsisha Local Government Area, LGA, Zaki Mbanongun Gbakera, from office for alleged complicity in the crisis in his area.
Governor Samuel Ortom, who presided over the council meeting while reading out the resolutions, said the decision to embrace community policing was in line with the decision reached at the North Central Security meeting held in Lafia, Nasarawa State in January, which was at the instance of the Inspector General of Police. He explained that 100 community policing personnel and 20 Community Volunteer Guards members would be recruited from each of the 23 LGAs of the state. 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, while council chairmen and district heads would coordinate the same at the local and council ward levels respectively.” On the lingering crisis between Konshisha and Oju LGAs, he said the council resolved that the boundary between the two local government areas should be demarcated immediately to stem the crisis. The Council also lifted the six months suspension of three traditional rulers from the Sankera axis who were suspended for alleged complicity in crisis in the area. The affected chiefs were Mue Ter Chongo, Mue Ter Ipusu, and Tyoor Luke Atomigba, District Head of Mbacher in Shitile. According to the governor, “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, to effectively attend to issues within his domain.”