By Sunday Iduh
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has called on the Federal Government (FG) to ensure that adequate funds were made available to security agencies for the protection of lives and property in the country.
The governor made the call Friday while participating in the Nigerian Air Force range shooting classification exercise at the military range, Ayati, near Ikpayongo in Gwer East Local Government Area.
He said, “security of lives and property is the paramount thing that any responsible government will accord priority. Without security there would be no peace or socio-economic development.
“issues of capacity building, manpower, training, funding and provision of equipment for security agencies should be considered very key.
“If we can suspend every other thing and concentrate on restoring security in our country, I believe that we will gain more than allowing insecurity to consume us.
“Federal Government should ensure adequate funding of security agencies. No reason should be given for inadequacy of funding.”
He pointed out that “if the funding will require all the three tiers of government to collaborate as we have done before by jointly providing 1 Billion Dollars for the procurement of weapons which has not been accounted for, they should let us know.”
The governor noted that the manpower of the security agencies was grossly inadequate, and called on the FG to give serious attention to recruiting more security personnel.
Governor Ortom acknowledged the sacrifices the security agencies were making in securing the state. “I am aware that from the year 2017 to date, more than 120 security men and women have paid the supreme prize, but I am happy you are not discouraged,” he stated.
He commended the security agencies for their efforts and reiterated his call on Benue people to support the security agencies in the discharge of their duties, warning against any form hostility to security operatives.
The governor, who participated in the ceremonial shooting exercise along with some top government officials, expressed appreciation to the Nigerian Air Force for inviting him to the ceremony, which he said had exposed him to the real challenge the security men face on the battlefield.
The Air Officer Commanding, Tactical Air Command (TAC), Air Vice Marshal, Precious Amadi, represented by his Chief of Staff, Air Commodore MC Ekwueme informed the governor that the shooting range exercise was meant to update the Air Force personnel on modern ways of handling weapons as well as arms and ammunitions.