SAMUEL Ortom, Governor of Benue State has said that he was surprised and needed explanations from the Nigerian Army over the killing of Terwase Akwaza also known as Gana.
While reacting to the death of Akwaza, Ortom said he did not want to join issues with the security agencies, noting that part of his responsibilities was to protect lives and property.
“You are all aware that I had to reach out to the commandant of that special forces and he confirmed to me. I told him I was surprised and I needed an explanation. I was surprised at what took place,” Ortom said.
The Governor disclosed during a press conference that he received the news of his death with a surprise from the Commandant of the Special Forces.
“By the time I hear from the commandant of the special forces I will now relate this with the security council and I think we will know the next step to take but the amnesty programme is not truncated it is ongoing.”
Ortom was reported to have said that the late Gana and his men were on their way to Makurdi, the state capital to surrender themselves to the state government to be granted amnesty.
In a video clip sighted by The ICIR, he further explained that it wasn’t his decision to grant amnesty, but that it came from the people .
“First of all, it came from the people themselves pleading that amnesty should be granted to these people and I informed the security council and they accepted,” Ortom said.
Ortom however, appeal to the people of Benue and Zamfara states to remain calm until the situation is resolved.
“I have to build the confidence of the people back and want to appeal to Benue and Zamfara people not to be deterred, to remain calm until we get to the root of what took place,” he said.
Moundhey Ali, a Major General and Commander for Special Forces Command, Doma, Nasarawa State had on Tuesday explained that the military received strategic information concerning the movement of Gana and his convoy.
“About 12:00 hours on Tuesday, we received strategic information on the movement of the dreaded bandit Terwase Akwaza Agbadu along Gbese-Gboko-Makurdi road,” Ali stated while addressing journalists.
He narrated that following the information, military troops moved to the route to set up a roadblock before the troops and the bandits engaged in a shoot-out.
“Troops of Operation ‘Ayem Akpatuma III’ moved swiftly and mounted roadblocks along the routes, at about 13:00 hours, there was an engagement with the convoy of Gana, a shoot-out ensued and the bandit was killed,” he said.
The Army Commander stated that 40 other armed members of Gana’s gang were captured by men of the Operation ‘Ayem Akpatuma III’ during the military operation.
The Benue State Government had in 2015 granted amnesty to over 500 persons including Gana, who were terrorising parts of Benue and Taraba states, but most of them relapsed into criminality.
Gana was later in 2017 declared wanted by the police while the Benue State Government placed a N10 million bounty on him.