A file photo of Benue state Governor Samuel Ortom
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has asked the military to release about 40 other militias said to be in custody.
Briefing journalists after a five-hour security meeting at the Government House Makurdi on Friday, Governor Ortom also called for the release of some official vehicles purportedly confiscated by the military authorities.
The governor explained that the call for the release of the repentant militias is necessary to enable them to embrace the amnesty programme of the state government.
“It is the resolve of this meeting, the expanded State Security Council meeting, that the repentant youths who were arrested by the military should be released so that they will continue from where they were coming to receive their amnesty and they were arrested.
“Also items that were confiscated, we are also appealing to the military to return them. Some of those vehicles were hired, some are official vehicles to our government officials. Some other things are documents. We appeal that all these be returned to us,” he said.
Reacting to the death of the state’s ‘most wanted criminal,’ Terwase Akwaza, alias Gana, Governor Ortom said the Sankara people and the state is pained by the development.
He however noted that nothing can be done to bring back the dead to life, calling on the people of the state to cooperate with the security agencies particularly the military.
While seeking more clarification on the true incident that transpired leading to Gana’s death, Ortom said the state government will continue to engage the military rather than being confrontational.
“We are going to find out the truth of what happened. That is what the entire stakeholders here are demanding to know because from the press statement and information to us gives us a cause to worry.
“We have resolved to move on and continue to interphase with the military and other security agencies to ensure that this kind of ugly incident does not happen again,” he said.
Gana was killed on September 8 in what military authorities described as a firefight.
But Governor Ortom said soldiers snatched Gana from a government convoy of repentant militants in Gboko.