Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, yesterday denied ever calling on the Nigeria Army to return the weapons they confiscated from the dreaded militant leader, Terwase Akwaza, who was killed in Gboko Local Government Area of the state on his way to surrender to the amnesty programme in Makurdi, the state capital.
The governor, who was responding to a publication in some sections of the media, said: “The article credited to a Special Assistant to the Senate President on new media is not only false but also enmeshed in mischief and comes across as a mere figment of the writer’s imagination”.
Ortom said he personally presided over the Friday September 11, 2020 expanded meeting of the Benue State Security Council but did not ask the military to return the weapons recovered from the repentant youths.
The governor, recalled in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Terver Akase, that the State Security Council only called “for the release of vehicles and other items such as official documents confiscated by the army during the operation, including the official Hilux vehicle of the Executive Chairman of Katsina- Ala Local Government council, Hon. Alfred Atera, in which the late Terwase Akwaza also known as Gana was being conveyed to Makurdi for the amnesty programme.
“It is was the considered resolution of the council that the release of the affected youths would enable them complete the amnesty process, which would reshape their lives as better human beings.
“It is on record that at the end of the 2015/2016 Amnesty Programme, which Governor Ortom anchored, more than 800 Benue youths, including Terwase Akwese embraced the scheme and over 1,000 weapons were recovered.