…Appeals for calm
BY OSBERT TOR-NAJIME, MAKURDI – Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has said that the military merely succeeded in creating confusion on Tuesday by intercepting a Benue State Government’s official convoy and abducted a repented wanted criminal, Terwase Akwaza aka Gana.
Ortom, who said that he is still in shock over the matter, appealed for calm with a promise that the state government is on the matter with the authorities.
Gana, who was on the wanted list of the government, embraced the second amnesty programme of Governor Samuel Ortom and together with about 70 of his lieutenants, presented himself before the committee comprising of Senator Gabriel Suswam, traditional rulers, religious leaders amongst others at Katsina-Ala.
However, on their way to Government House Makurdi where the Governor and other officials were waiting to receive the team, a team of military personnel ambushed the convoy, abducted Gana and took him to an unknown destination and later announced his death alleging that he died during a crossfire.
He stated this while briefing journalists on the state of the second amnesty programme of his administration which covers Sankera geopolitical zone.
The Governor said he is still awaiting briefing from the Commander of Operation Ayem A Kpatuma from Doma in Nasarawa State, Major General Moundhey Gadzama Ali, who promised he was coming to brief him on their operation.
But Governor Ortom said that five repentant youths from Ukum Local Government Area who were among those arrested by the Nigerian Army were released and were conveyed to the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi by the Council Chairman of Ukum, Hon. Stephen Ayua to be part of the amnesty offer.
Ortom explained that the amnesty programme was not truncated as those who could not make it to Makurdi due to the confusion created by the military operation would be given another chance.
He urged the people of Sankera to remain calm as he was still investigating the circumstances surrounding the arrest and killing of Gana before taking action on the matter, adding that he owes Benue people the duty to protect lives and property.