Ortom demands release of 40 repentant militias arrested by military after killing of Gana

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has urged the military to set free 40 repentant militias it arrested and kept in custody after killing Terwase Akwaza, alias Gana.
The governor, also called on the military to release some official vehicles it purportedly confiscated.
Gana, a notorious criminal and the 40 other militias had accepted Governor Ortom’s amnesty to criminals in the state and were being transported with the official vehicles to the government House in Makurdi when they were stopped by the military.
Gana was shot dead while the other 40 militias and the vehicles were reportedly arrested by the military.
Speaking to newsmen on Friday, after a five-hour security meeting at the Government House Makurdi, Ortom said the call for the release of the repentant militias was important to enable them embrace the amnesty programme of the state government.
He said, “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.”
The military had claimed that Gana was killed following a firefight on September 8, but Ortom maintained that soldiers snatched him from a government convoy conveying repentant militants in Gboko.
The governor, who said the Sankara people and the state were pained by the incident, however, noted that there was nothing anyone could do to bring back the dead to life.
He, therefore, called on the people of the state to cooperate with the security agencies particularly the military.
The governor added that the state government would continue to engage the military in its efforts to get better clarification on the true incident that led to Gana’s death.
Ortom said, “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.”

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