Terwase Akwaza, aka Ghana, a notorious gang leader in Benue state, has surrendered 84 guns to the state government.
The governor of the state, Samuel Ortom, after the State Executive Council meeting, said Ghana embraced the amnesty programme declared by his administration for residents of the state to surrender illegal weapons in their possession. Ortom added that the amnesty had been extended to the end of September.
Ortom noted that the extension of the amnesty window became necessary after a plea by the gang leader who said that he needed more time to persuade some of his friends in the underworld to also surrender their weapons.
Ghana confessed that he became a militant leader to secure his community, adding that he had decided to genuinely embrace the calls by Ortom for people in the state, and urged all others holding illegal weapons, to surrender them and to embrace peace.
Colonel Edwin Jando (rtd.), the special adviser to the governor on security, disclosed that he received “135 assorted rifles and 770 rounds of ammunition from those who voluntarily surrendered their weapons, with 84 rifles submitted by Akwaza”.
Ortom expressed deep appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari, Taraba state governor, Darius Ishaku, the Catholic bishop of Katsina-Ala diocese, Peter Adoboh, and others for their support for the amnesty programme.
Meanwhile, the amnesty on the national scale is still causing rifts. The option has been laid on the table as one of the most viable options in the quest to still insurgency in the country, especially the raging daily battles by Boko Haram in the North East.
President Buhari has been facing with two options, either to negotiate with the Islamists who have been troubling the peace of the nation for six years, or to go all out and unleash the military on the insurgents.
Analysts argue that from all indications, the commander-in-chief is not ready to go to the negotiation table, as he has given the army a deadline to crush the terrorists and to restore the lost tranquility of the region and the nation as a whole.