Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has appealed to the Federal Government to grant licences to responsible citizens to carry sophisticated weapons such as AK-47 to deter criminals from attacking innocent and helpless Nigerians.
The Governor made the appeal as part of his submissions contained in the paper he presented on Tuesday during the virtual meeting convened by Centre for Values in Leadership, (CVL) in collaboration with Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF).
In the paper entitled ‘Insecurity and Governance Challenges in the New Normal’, the Governor suggested that the policy should be backed by a strict legal framework to prevent illegal possession of arms by the citizenry without exception.
He added that governments at all levels must come to terms with the fact that insecurity is a real threat to the development of the country and be willing to sincerely tackle the menace.
Ortom also stressed the need for adequate funding of security agencies and continuous training of their personnel to enable them keep abreast of global dynamics in the fight against insecurity.
He called on 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 oftentimes, results in attacks on farming communities by armed herdsmen militia.
Governor Ortom also advocated for 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.
The Governor also recommended that the embargo on employment be lifted to open more doors of job opportunities to take Nigerian youths from the streets.
He called on the federal, state and local governments to show greater commitment to developing the agricultural value chain to generate more job opportunities for Nigerians.
Governor Ortom explained further that Benue State has made significant contributions to national development, adding that as the food basket of the country, if the State is threatened by insecurity, the negative impact would be on the entire country.
He solicited the support of all stakeholders in tackling security challenges and pledged the resolve of his administration to ensure the safety of lives and property of all citizens.