Traditional Rulers In Sankaraland Of Benue State Flee Community After Gana’s Death
In Nigeria, the Local Government Chairmen in Sankaraland of Benue State have all deserted their homes and relocated to Makurdi for fear of their lives. Also, many traditional rulers involved in the surrendering of the notorious militia leader, Terwase Akwaza (aka Gana) have abandoned their palaces for unknown places. A member of the House of Representatives, Dr Richard Gbande, has raised alarm that his life and those of other leaders who negotiated the surrender of Gana was in danger. Gana was killed last week by soldiers in a controversial manner after allegedly accepting amnesty offered by the Samuel Orthom administration. Forty out of the 100 other militiamen that surrendered, were also shot dead by the soldiers. Sankaraland is made up of three local government areas of Ukum, Logo and Katsina Ala. A councillor in one of the councils made this known yesterday while on a visit to Lafia, Nasarawa State. According to the councillor, “As I talk to you, the Ter Ukum, Arc Orkar Kaave, Ter Logo, Jimmy Meeme and Ter Katsina Ala, Benjamin Fezanga Wombo left their domain that same day and are in Makurdi. Even the whereabouts of Tor Sankera, HRH Abu King Shuluwa is unknown Nobody is safe. All the council chairmen have run away to Makurdi. Nobody is sure of his safety any longer in the area. The atmosphere is not clear; you can’t see any official or government vehicle in Sankera. There is fear there.” It was learnt that the people of Joota, a community in Ukum Local Government Area, are highly worried over the whereabouts of four of their four “strong men’’ who usually protect them against incessant attacks by the Jukum militia.
On other news making the rounds at this hour, Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, has berated the Nigerian military for allegedly demanding bounty after killing. Reports from the media had it that the Nigerian military killed Gana last week while on his way to accept an amnesty by the Benue State Government led by Governor Samuel Ortom. Gana, who was in the company of Sankera leaders, was intercepted and killed by the military on their way to Makurdi for the amnesty promised by Governor Samuel Ortom. Displeased with Gana’s killing, Soyinka in an opinion piece frowned at reports that the military was requesting the bounty placed on the alleged criminal by the Benue State government. The Nobel laureate said the military side-tracked “the rationality of professional investigations” by its action. According to Soyinka, “… any tear that is shed for the arch-bandit and multiple murderer Akwaza, known as Gana, is an obscenity. However, tears of trepidation are falling fast and furious over the conduct of an army that eliminates a captive in cold blood, side-tracking the rationality of professional investigations and legitimate pursuit of felons and other enemies of society. The issue here is not one of the appropriateness of a policy of Amnesty – that constitutes a larger debate in its place. The issue here – and a critical one — is that a Wanted Man, on his way to surrender, has been killed in cold blood. I read yesterday that the Army has followed this up with a demand for the bounty earlier placed by the Benue State governor on the head of the WANTED man. However, all reports so far indicate that he was on his way to surrender? And so, is this bounty demand a joke? An end then to such gallows humor.”
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