Samuel Ortom, Benue State governor, on Tuesday, signed the amended Community Volunteer Guards law of the state, to allow local guards carry weapons legally.
The law was first passed in 2000 by the Benue State House of Assembly, and assented to by the then governor, George Akume.
But Ortom said it has become pertinent to amend the law, in order to enable the guards complement the “grossly inadequate” conventional security agents in the fight against insecurity.
Ortom added that traditional rulers will oversee the recruitment of the guards as it is community-based.
According to the governor, five persons would be recruited from each of the kindreds in the state and 10 at the ward level, while the local government would have representatives from council wards to ensure proper management and supervision of the guards.
“Those to be recruited must be within the age bracket of 18 to 50 years and should have a means of livelihood,” Ortom added.
“I warn that the guards do their work, devoid of politics.”
Benue has been experiencing attacks by suspected Fulani militia, leading to the death of hundreds of people and more than one million displaced.