Ortom invites Benue indigenes in the Diaspora to support state war against insecurity, assents to N179.8bn 2023 budget

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Governor Samuel Ortom has appealed to indigenes of Benue State, especially those in the Diaspora to support the Government in providing logistics to the Community Volunteer Guards and other security agencies in the State to enhance their operations.

According to his Chief Press Secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur, Governor Ortom made the appeal on Thursday, December 22nd, 2022 at the Benue People’s House, Makurdi while presenting vehicles and motorcycles to Volunteer Guards, Livestock Guards and traditional rulers.

They include 23 Innoson Pickup vehicles and 460 Motorcycles for the Community Volunteer Guards, 2 security vehicles and 30 motorcycles for the Livestock Guards and 279 motorcycles for district and clan heads.

The Governor stated that since the launch of the Community Volunteer Guards, the security outfit had effectively worked with the conventional security agencies and was on record to have halted activities of criminal elements across the state.

“I urge all Benue citizens where ever they are, in the diaspora and other parts of country to step forward and support the Livestock Guards and Community Volunteer Guards who are in every kindred in Benue State. Give them food, water and money to ensure that they do their work very well.”

Governor Ortom reiterated his call on the people not to be hostile to security personnel in their domain, saying cases of misconduct should be reported to the appropriate authorities as they have a “regimented arrangements to deal with anyone who goes against the law”.

While expressing appreciation to the Tiv and Idoma traditional councils for standing solidly behind his administration’s commitment to the security measures his administration has taken to secure the state, the Governor emphasised that there is no going back on the Open Grazing and Prohibition and Ranches Law.

According to the Governor, “any person who brings herds of cattle to graze openly in this state will be arrested. There is a law prohibiting open grazing. If you want to stay in Benue State you can come and stay but you must respect the laws of the land. You must ranch but if you think you are above the law, the security agencies are here to apprehend you.”

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, Colonel Paul Hemba, retd, representatives of the Tor Tiv, Chief Moses Anageende and Chief Innocent Alidu who spoke on behalf of the district and clan heads all thanked the Governor for the vehicles and assured them that they would be used judiciously to help improve the lives of the people.

Governor Ortom had earlier signed the 2023 appropriation bill of N179.8 billion naira passed by the State House of Assembly into law shortly before the commencement of the State Executive Council.

The budget has N106 billion as recurrent expenditure and N73.5 billion naira as capital expenditure.

The Governor thanked the Benue State House of Assembly for passing the appropriation bill within record time.

According to the Governor, “We have done this in the last seven years and today we are doing it for the last time in the life span of this administration. This is the last budget that we are going to preside over and hand it to the incoming administration.”

He also praised the State Legislature for the support it has given his administration over the years, stressing that “as a government, we have no other business than to serve. And whatever we do is for the interest of the people.”

The Governor noted with delight how his government had enjoyed peace and understanding and synergy despite all the economic and security challenges that the state has faced.

Governor Ortom said the at as a law-abiding Government, his administration has “always sought to ensure lawful instruments that will give it the power to enforce the laws”, adding that the assembly “has never wasted time in making and amending laws whether on kidnappings, local banditry and armed robbery.”

Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Engineer Titus Uba said the House painstakingly went through the budget clause by clause to ensure a budget that will help develop the state.

Engineer Uba who was represented by the Deputy Speaker, Christopher Adaji noted that as “legislators and people that were voted by various constituencies, they would continue to make laws for the good governance of the state.”

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