Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue, on Tuesday, assented to the state’s amended Community Volunteer Guards Law.
In the amended law, the guards can now carry weapons legally recognised by the constitution.
Ortom signed the amended law in Makurdi.
The governor said that 20 years after the vigilante law was enacted, it needed to be amended.
He stated that it became imperative to complement the conventional security agencies to fight criminality, especially in the rural areas.
He said that five strong able-bodied men would be recruited from the kindred, 10 at the ward level while the local government would have representatives from council wards to ensure proper management and supervision of the guards.
“Those to be recruited must be within the age bracket of 18-50 years and should have a means of livelihood.
“I warn that the guards do their work, devoid of politics,” he said.
He lamented the abduction of Benue indigenes in Zamfara.
He said that he was in touch with their families, assuring that government was working hard to ensure their release.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Justice, Mike Gusah, explained that the old law had lapses, pointing out that under the new law, a command structure would be set up.