By Matthew Ajai-Kume
Governor Samuel Ortom has declared that there is no amnesty programme nor negotiations with criminal elements in Benue State.
“At the Benue State Security Council meeting, we resolved and declared war on all criminals,” he stated.
In his words: “There is no more amnesty and negotiations with criminal elements in the state, the youths of Sankera and entire state should rather take to lawful businesses or we are now ready to go after them.”
The Benue State Governor disclosed this Saturday in a chat with newsmen, during the burial of Chief Terkula Suswam and his aide Solomon Utanor, at Anyiin in Logo Local Government Area of Benue State.
Governor Ortom condemned the people who murdered Chief Suswam and his aide, while he described Chief Suswam as a man who during his life time, stood for the development of his community and society in general.
“I want to inform the killers of Chief Terkula Suswam that, what they have done will not move the area forward but it will rather move the area backward, this is why am calling on all sons and daughters of the area to cooperate with me and security agencies to curb the criminal acts in the intermediate area,” he maintained.
Commenting on the refusal of the Apostolic Administrator, Katsina Ala Catholic Diocese, Bishop William Avenya to allow him and Senator Gabriel Suswam to present funeral oration and give vote of thanks, Governor Ortom said, he leaves the bishop to his own conscience.
According to him, at several times, during fellowship with other Catholic dioceses in Makurdi, Otukpo, Abuja, Kaduna and other places, he was allowed to speak as the number one citizen of Benue state, adding that, even the Bible said, honour should be given to whom it is due.
Earlier, in a funeral homily, Reverend Father Godwin Bagu said, the Holy Bible and Nigerian Constitution speaks against taking ones life and any one who shed innocent blood shall surely be penalised.
Rev. Fr Bagu charged all to learn how to forgive one another, while he described the Late Chief Terkula Suswam as a peace maker and stakeholder who worked for the progress and development of his society and humanity in general, during his life time.
The cleric called on the people of Sankera and the youths of the axis to shun vices and follow path of peace just like the prodigal son in the Bible for peace, development and progress of the intermediate area and Benue State in particular.