By Amos Aar
THE BENUE State House of Assembly has given Benue State Governor, Rev. Fr Hyacinth Alia, three days to appoint a Special Adviser on Security to address the rising insecurity in the state.
Governor Alia had on October 17, 2023 assigned portfolios to his special advisers but none was assigned to security.
The Assembly, during its Tuesday plenary, expressed concern particularly about last Friday’s robbery of five commercial banks in Otukpo local government area of the state, saying the heinous crime was perpetrated successfully as a result of inability to reach the security agencies for a timely response.
Member representing Otukpo-Akpa state constituency, Hon. Angbo Kennedy, moved the motion for the ultimatum among other prayers including that all hotels and leisure spots to open mandatory ledger on guests.
Angbo explained that the raid on Otukpo, in which the Divisional Police Officer, John Adikwu, three other police personnel and six civilians were killed, has exposed gaps in the security architecture of the state.
He prayed that the security agencies should without delay establish the immediate and remote causes of the attack and fish out the perpetrators of the carnage.
He also prayed that the state government should set up a trust fund to help families and victims of violent attacks across the state with a view to offsetting medical and burial expenses. He also asked for the establishment of another police station in Otukpo to support emergency response.
The lawmaker also prayed to the House that the state, through the ministries of health and humanitarian and disaster management, provide at least two fully equipped ambulances to all the 23 LGAs to help in periods of emergency.
The speaker, Hon. Aondona Dajoh, while ruling on the prayers gave the governor a 3-day ultimatum to appoint a security adviser.
One of the lawmakers, Godwin Edith, who allegedly escaped the Otukpo attack, lamented his inability to reach out to anyone from the state for lack of a substantive security adviser. He noted that he could not reach anyone at the local government level where chairmen in the states have remained suspended since June 2023.