Benue state governor Samuel Ortom said on Thursday that the state government would legally purchase Ak-47 rifles for its Community Volunteer Guards safety equipment.

Ortom made this known in Makurdi, the state capital, at the unveiling of the security equipment, just as states including Ondo, Ekiti, Osun and Zamfara also indicated they would arm their security forces as insecurity in the country worsened.

Also on Thursday, representatives from security services, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, the diplomatic corps and selected ministries held a summit in Abuja on Thursday to ensure schools are safe and reopened.

At the unveiling of the Benue State Security outfit, Ortom revealed that the state was under attack due to the people’s refusal to give up their land.

Ortom said 500 people from the state’s 23 local government areas were recruited in the first batch and participated in the fainting parade held in IBB Square, Makurdi.

The governor said his government decided to form the security unit because of the federal government’s failure to disarm the militias.

He promised that his government would legally provide AK-47, AK-49 and other advanced weapons for the security agents.

Ortom stated: “Given that the federal government has consistently failed to disarm the terrorists who have continued to maim and murder our people at will, the state government is going to apply for a license to legally purchase AK-47, AK-49. and other advanced weapons for the Benue State Volunteers Guards to effectively deal with these murderous terrorists.

“To do this effectively, the Benue State government had approved a two-week capacity building program for 500 Community Volunteer Guards personnel to learn some basic paramilitary aspects.”

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He promised that the operations of the Benue State Community volunteer guards would be strictly governed by the law and warned that any officer operating outside the said law would be shown the way out.

Thirty operational vehicles and 200 communications gadgets were procured to allow the Volunteer Guards to function at their maximum.

Ondo License

For its part, the government of Ondo State said it was working to obtain a license for the agents of the Amotekun Corps to enable them to face the bandits.

Amotekun Corps commander and special adviser to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu for security, Akogun Adeleye, said in an interview with The PUNCH that one of the corps’ challenges was its inability to carry advanced weapons.

However, he stated that the state government was working on it.

“We understand that such weapons belong to the exclusive list that will be granted only by the federal government and therefore we ask for the creation of a state police force that will end all these intimidations by these invaders,” Adeleye said. stated.

Likewise, the governor’s senior special assistant for security matters, Jimoh Dojumo, said the government was working to get the permit.

“We are working towards that and it will go through the state house of representatives,” he said.

Also in Osun state, the governor’s special adviser for security, Abiodun Ige, said Governor Gboyega Oyetola firmly believed that Amotekun should carry weapons.

However, she noted that under the current operational law directing Amotekun’s operations, the agents could only cooperate with other arm-bearing security forces.

Ige said: “It’s the governor who will be able to answer that question, but I know that Governor Oyetola is confident that if they can allow them (Amotekun) to carry weapons, it will be okay.

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“But under the current operational law, they have to cooperate with other security forces. And that gives them the firepower they need to operate effectively.”

In Zamfara state, Jamilu Iliyasu, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Bello Matawalle, said the governor would follow a fair trial regarding the purchase of firearms for self-defense in the state.

Iliyasu stated that the bill for the purchase of firearms for self-defense is currently before the state assembly for amendment. He added that the governor would respect everything the law says on the issue of firearms.

He claimed that Matawalle would never act contrary to the constitution and would follow legal avenues to get the guns if it became absolutely necessary.

Iliyasu added that the governor’s recent ruling on the purchase of firearms for self-defense was the right step in the right direction.

According to him, members of the state’s National Assembly are currently trying hard to push for the change in the firearms law.

Ekiti Amoteku

In response to increasing insecurity, Ekiti State Governor’s Special Adviser on Security Affairs, Brig. Gene. Ebenezer Ogundana (ret.), said the state is working to bolster its security equipment officers, Amotekun Corps.

The security adviser spoke in Ado Ekiti as he responded to a statement from Benue state governor Sam Ortom during the launch of a safety equipment for his state that he would legally apply for a license to purchase AK-47 for the equipment.

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Ogundana said, “We are working on that. We are looking at the situation where the agents of our security equipment can carry automatic weapons.”

Although the retired general stated that the state government’s security strategies would not be made public, he said: “I can assure you that we will authorize Amotekun any moment”.

When approached for comment, Nigerian police spokesman Muyiwa Adejobi said he was not aware of Ortom’s plan and so could not comment on it.

“I am not informed, I am not informed. I did not watch the program (by the governor of Benue); I’ve been busy with a workshop, so I can’t comment on what I didn’t hear.”

For its part, the state government of Ogun says it has no plans to purchase Ak-47 rifles for state security to combat insecurity issues.

So said the state governor’s special adviser for security affairs, Deputy Inspector General Sola Subair (Retd.) during a conversation with one of our correspondents in Abeokuta on Thursday.

Subair said the federal government had suspended firearms possession.

He said: “We need to be reminded that there is still a ban on licensing firearms. I don’t know what legal means he (Ortom) will use to get Ak-47.

“I know there is no law in Nigeria that allows the carrying of firearms. The law does not allow anyone to wear AK-47.”

Meanwhile, the United States government says it is training about 150 temporary police officers to be deployed in the Northeast.

US Ambassador to Nigeria Marybeth Leonard said this at a high-level summit labeled “Safeguarding Our Schools,” which was hosted by the Emergency Coordination Center in Abuja on Thursday.

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