Governor Samuel Ortom today granted amnesty to a notorious criminal gang leader, Mr. Terwase Akwaza, popularly known as Ghana even as he extended the amnesty period for surrender of illegal weapons to end of September, 2015.
Addressing journalists at the end of a Security Council meeting he said Mr. Akwaza had responded to his call to surrender the weapons he possessed illegally and also desist from his activities which constituted a security threat to individuals and communities in Benue and Taraba States.
The Governor stated that the extension became necessary following a plea by the gang leader that he needed time to persuade some of his friends in the underworld to also surrender.
He expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari, his Taraba State counterpart, Darius Ishiaku, the Catholic Bishop of Katsina-Ala Diocese, Bishop Peter Adoboh, and others for their support for the amnesty program.
According to him it had become imperative to secure the state so that a conducive environment would be created to attract investors into the state as well as boost its economic fortunes.
He said at the end of the extension security agencies would go after possessors of illegal arms in a concerted matter so as to put an end to crimes including armed robbery, kidnapping, and cultism.
Speaking earlier, Special Adviser on Security, Colonel Edwin Jando, retired, disclosed that he received 135 assorted rifles and 770 rounds of ammunition from those who voluntarily surrendered with 84 rifles from Mr. Akwaza, since the beginning of the program.
In his remarks Mr. Akwaza stated that he became a militia leader in order to secure his community but has responded genuinely to calls from Governor Ortom to lay down arms and embrace peace.
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