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Monday, May 27, 2024

Alia’s plan to launch a security outfit, a waste of resources – Group

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A group known as Defenders of Democracy, DoD has condemned the decision of the Benue State Governor, Hyacinth Alia to launch a local security outfit made up of 10,000 youths this month.

In a statement by its President Amos Uchiv, DoD described the decision as unnecessary duplication, saying the move is a waste of taxpayer’s money which would have been spent on development projects. The group also accused Governor Alia of planning to recruit thugs to harass his political opponents.

The statement reads:

“We read with disbelief, the announcement by the Benue State Governor, Fr. Hyacinth Alia, that the state government will launch a local security outfit made up of 10,000 youths before the end of May, 2024.

“We find such a move as poorly conceived, unnecessary and a waste of state resources. We suspect that Governor Alia is planning to recruit thugs and give them official status to go after his political opponents.

“Recall that earlier in the week while addressing a gathering in Tse-Agberagba, Konshisha local government area, Governor Alia publicly vowed to use violence against those criticizing his administration. Since he came on board, his known statement has been “words have consequences”. He has arrested and detained many members of the opposition with some of them beaten and badly injured.

“It is important to note that Benue State already has a legitimate security apparatus in place, known as the Community Volunteer Guards, who were recruited in accordance with the law enacted by the State House of Assembly. These guards underwent training by conventional security agencies and were launched by the former Governor Samuel Ortom.

“If the Governor does not find the Community Volunteer Guards effective, why is he keeping them to protect the gate of his private residence and other government facilities in the state?

“We view the decision of Governor Alia with great skepticism and alarm, as it appears to be a wasteful and potentially dangerous move that could jeopardize the peace and security of our beloved state. There are strong suspicions that Governor Alia’s true intention behind this initiative is to recruit thugs and grant them official status to target his political opponents under the guise of state-backed security.

“Since he became governor, Alia has not purchased even one motorcycle for the police, civil defense or any of the other security agencies. He does not see the need to hold regular security meetings to receive briefings from heads of security agencies in the state as is the tradition.

“Governor Alia has received so much money from the federal government including a huge chuck of the N50 billion that President Bola Tinubu released to the five states worst affected by insecurity in the north. Alia has not donated patrol vehicles to the security forces since he was sworn in. Yet, there are reports that he increased his security vote to over a billion naira every month.

“Benue people are being killed on a daily basis, but instead of calling for a security stakeholders meeting, all that mattered to the governor was to ask his factional chairman of APC, Benjamin Omakolo to assemble a political meeting at Government House yesterday.

“We strongly urge Governor Alia to reconsider his decision to launch a new security outfit and instead focus on empowering the existing Community Volunteer Guards and the conventional security agencies to enhance their effectiveness in serving the state. By channeling resources towards development projects that benefit the people of Benue State, the Governor can make a real and positive impact on the lives of our people.

“It is crucial that Governor Alia prioritizes the safety and well-being of all residents of Benue State above any political motives or personal agendas. We call on him to reverse this ill-conceived decision and work towards strengthening existing security structures for the greater good of our state.

“We implore the Governor to heed this advice and act in the best interests of Benue State and its people”, Defenders of Democracy submitted.

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