Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Wednesday, expressed shock over the interception of a government convoy, arrest and killing of Terwase Akwaza, aka Gana, by soldiers.
Ortom expressed his feelings while speaking with journalists at the new banquet hall of Government House, Makurdi on the state of the second amnesty programme of his administration which covers Sankera geopolitical zone.
He further stated that five repentant youths from Ukum Local Government Area, who were also arrested by the Nigerian Army, have been released and are expected to join the 42 repentant criminals already in government house.
When asked if the amnesty programme had not been truncated by the killing of Gana and the arrest of other repentant militias, Ortom said the amnesty programme was not truncated.
He added that 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 circumstances surrounding the arrest and killing of Gana before taking action on the matter, stressing that he owes Benue people the duty to protect lives and property.
Governor Orom had earlier addressed the 42 repentant youths and commended them for choosing to abandon their negative ways to open a new chapter of their lives.
He said “Shortly after we left yesterday (Monday) night, there was a press statement issued by the Special Force, that is Operation Ayema Kpatema in Doma, Nasarawa State.
“I reached out to the Commander of the Force and told him that I was surprised and needed an explanation.
“He assured me that he would come and brief me but I must say that I am shocked at what happened. I do not want to join issues with the military but I have a duty to protect the lives of the people.”
“I want Benue people, especially Sankera people to remain calm,” Ortom pleaded.