The Benue State Security Council has commended security agencies for the manner they handled the Gbishe operation last Saturday.
Rising from a meeting presided by its chairman, Governor Samuel Ortom yesterday, the council noted that the agencies operated within the rules of engagement focusing on their target and avoiding loss of lives as well as destruction of property outside their brief.
It however regretted that the main target, Terwase Akwaza, alias Ghana, escaped arrest this time but directed the agencies to intensify efforts to arrest him and members of his gang.
The Council stated that anyone who harboured Ghana and his group did so at his or her risk.
The meeting noted the criminal activities of Mr. Akwaza which it said include kidnappings, assassinations, armed robbery, killing of security personnel including soldiers and policemen as well as cow rustling triggering acrimony between communities and herders.
By these activities the council concluded that it became clear that he had renounced the amnesty pardon granted him.
The Council directed that the Benue State Internal Revenue Service should terminate Ghana’s revenue contract with immediate effect.
It noted that the school and compound of the gang leader were training grounds for criminals and an indian hemp depot hence the need to destroy them which is what the security agencies did during their operation.
The Council also commended the security agencies for chasing away Fulani militia in Agatu, Buruku, Logo, Tarka, and Ukum local government areas, noting that the same personnel were still in those areas to ensure the sustenance of security of lives.
It assured the people that the stick approach of the amnesty program would be used on criminals and illegal possessors of arms be they herdsmen or farmers.
The council also directed that measures including the renovation of the Old Makurdi Prison be taken so as to decongest the new one.
The Council resolved to collaborate with the Nasarawa and Taraba State governments and other critical stakeholders to resolve herders’ farmers’ clashes and cattle rustling.
The meeting directed those living in riverine and flood-prone areas to relocate to other places in anticipation of impending flooding this year.
Bem B. Melladu, PhD, mnipr.
Acting Secretary to State Government.