Sunday Magazine

Benue: The sorry state of Auke Police Station in Apa LGA

Auke Ward, Apa Local Government Area, Benue State is the second largest ward in the LGA and a boundary community between Kogi and Benue States, has been in the news for one form of social neglect or the other.

 

Despite the high rate of kidnapping and wanton killings spearheaded by marauding Fulani herdsmen, Auke was shielded from attack by divine providence despite the fact that the residents are vulnerable to attack due to the absence of government security.

 

The community is grappling with bad road network to lack of electricity, to lack of portable drinking water, and is one of the neglected communities in the Benue south senatorial district. Security, which every state governor being security conscious takes serious, in Auke those concerned treat with levity. Photographs, they say don’t lie.

 

The Police Station which the Community built has been abandoned by the State Police Command and the State government.

 

When Sunday Telegraph visited the community, it observed that the community’s effort is a sign that it is a police loving community, but for lack of funds, the poor peasant farmers could not go beyond erecting a befitting structure.

 

With pockets of cases of banditry, rape, communal strife among others across the country, there is urgent need for a formidable police station in Auke for effective community policing. Auke community has produced a two – time chairman for the local government and a good number of professors whose impact is yet to be felt in the development of the community.

 

One noticeable thing in the Auke Police station is that it has no operational vehicle  and is supervised by personnel without arms. More worrisome is the fact that it has now been deserted for lack of attention.

 

During the last visit to the police station, it was discovered that the only officer left to man the station was transferred there for only God knows reason(s). Now, when the community comes under attack, where will the over 3,000 residents run to? That is the question on the lips of many.

 

 

Benue to recruit 2,300 community policing personnel, 460 volunteer guards The urgent need to give the police station a facelift is coming at a time the Benue State Security Council has approved that 2,300 personnel be recruited for community policing and 460 Community Volunteer Guards (CVGs) also known as Vigilante, to complement the efforts of conventional security agencies and tackle the security  challenges in the state.

 

Governor Samuel Ortom, who briefed the media shortly after the meeting he presided over said, the decision to embrace community policing was in line with the resolution reached at the North Central Security meeting held in Lafia, Nasarawa State early this year at the instance of the Inspector General of Police.

 

He explained that 100 community policing personnel would be recruited from each local government area while 20 Community Volunteer Guards would be recruited from each local government area. He stated that both the community policing personnel and those of the Community Volunteer Guards would help the police in intelligence gathering against crime.

 

Governor Ortom said, as stipulated in the law, activities of community volunteer guards would be supervised by the permanent secretary, Bureau of Internal Affairs at the state level while council chairmen and district heads would coordinate same at the local government and ward levels respectively.

 

It is therefore expedient that the state governor, the local government chairman, the state House of Assembly member representing Apa State Constituency, the National Assembly member representing Apa-Agatu Federal Constituency and indeed, all the four professors produced by the ward to wake up from slumber and do everything possible to save the lives of people of the community, which has no government security and crime rate is on the increase.

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