Former Benue State Governor, Senator Gabriel Suswam, yesterday, vehemently berated security operatives for killing a repentant Benue militia leader, Mr. Terwase Agwaza, alias Gana. Suswam, who made this condemnation in a statement he personally signed in Abuja, therefore, called for a judicial panel of inquiry to investigate the matter and establish what actually transpired. He regretted that this singular action of the military had countered the already doused tension in the state, as it was capable of provoking resurgence of criminal and terrorist activities in the state.
The Nigeria Army had confirmed the killing of Gana tagged the “most wanted criminal” in Benue State on Tuesday at a roadblock mounted by its men along Gbese-Gboko-Makur-di road following exchange of gunfire. However, Suswam, who represents Benue North East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, said that the convoy in which Gana was travelling to meet the state Governor, Samuel Ortom, traditional rulers, clergymen and other leaders in Makurdi where he had agreed to surrender his arms and renounce banditry, was actually intercepted and singled out for arrest before his killing.
He further lamented that the extra judicial killing of Gana was coming at a time when the long awaited peace was being brokered by the efforts of the elders and leaders of the affected enclave and the state government, with a view to restoring peace in the state. The statement reads: “At times of uncertainties and crisis, it is incumbent on statesmen to stand out and douse situations especially those that threaten the good order of society. The role of elders at times like this is not to inflame passions or fan the embers of hate but to heal all wounds.
We are at such a critical juncture in our existence in Benue State. “The events of September 8 2020 in my senatorial district where repentant criminals who had surrendered after extensive persuasions were singled out and killed extra judicially leaves a sour taste and has opened a gaping wound that requires all efforts to heal. “It is no secret that my senatorial district has been traumatized and the people terrorized by activities of criminal gangs led by Mr. Terwase Agwaza, alias Gana for many years.