The Governor of Benue State, Mr.Samuel Ortom has asked the Federal Government to grant licences to carry sophisticated weapons such as AK47 to responsible citizens to deter criminals from attacking innocent and helpless Nigerians.
He opined that the policy should be backed by a strict legal framework to prevent illegal possession of arms by the citizenry without exception.
Governor Ortom made this submission on Tuesday during the virtual meeting convened by Centre for Values in Leadership, CVL, in collaboration with Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF.
In a paper titled ‘Insecurity and Governance Challenges in the New Normal’, the Governor Orton said 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.
He called adequate funding of security agencies and continuous training of their personnel to enable them to be abreast of global dynamics in the fight against insecurity.
The Governor urged the Federal Government to embrace ranching as it is the global best practice of animal husbandry and to enact a law to end open grazing which often comes with attacks on farming communities by armed herdsmen militia.
He also advocated 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 therefore, called for the repositioning of the 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.
Governor Ortom also recommended that the embargo on employment be lifted and more job opportunities created to take Nigerian youths from the streets.
He tasked 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 concluded his presentation by stating that Benue State has made significant contributions to national development and as the food basket of the nation, if the state is threatened by insecurity, the negative impact would be on the entire country.
Governor Ortom, however, 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.