Sunday, 4 October 2015


Terver Akase wrote...
Brothers and sisters
But permit me to say that Gov Samuel Ortom has not in anyway empowered 'Ghana'. I won't dwell much on the sensational facebook report. That's the advantage of social media - giving citizens the power to hold opinions, disseminate information freely and even mobilise for civil action.

I hasten to add that there was actually an incident before noon yesterday involving the BSU DVC and erstwhile militant 'Ghana'. The facebook account was right to say that there was an incident of that nature. But the account got it wrong when it said Ghana was in a convoy of cars given to him by Govt.

The Benue State Govt has not given a fleet of cars with a detachment of security operatives to Ghana as our facebook reporter wants us to believe. You may recall that the amnesty programme granted armed perons by the Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom was due to expire at the end of August. The grace period was however extended on the eve of that expiration following Ghana's plea to the Governor when the ex-gang leader surrendered his weapons. He assured Gov Ortom that he will assist the govt by visiting various camps of his fellow gunmen to persuade them to surrender their weapons and be part of the amnesty programme. But Ghana, knowing the level of his involvement in previous notorious gun battles in different parts of the State was afraid for his life. He feared that if not protected now that he had been disarmed, his adversaries could harm him. He pleaded for protection while on his mission to contribute to the success of the amnesty programme.

The Govt therefore decided to release one hilux van with one or two security men to escort Ghana only when he informs the amnesty office about his plan to visit a particular community to carryout his mission of convincing his comrades at arms to embrace the amnesty programme.

This move has led to more successes for the amnesty programme, and you may agree that no controversy has been heard regarding Ghana's conduct as he moves around. Reports we have received indicate that he has so far shown total compliance and readiness to be part of the rehabilitation programme of the State Govt. Let me emphasise that the Benue State Govt has not given vehicles to Ghana.

I wish to end by saying that since his assumption of office, Governor Ortom has not hidden his intention to stop violence and restore peace to all parts of the State. The Governor has demonstrated in several ways, his commitment to the security of lives and property of the people of the State. The passionate manner and priority he accorded the amnesty - a first in the State, is proof that Benue now has a Governor who is not happy seeing his brothers - youths of the State turn caves, trenches, valleys and hills to their homes (camps) for militant or criminal activities. He wants his brothers to come home, leave the camps, turn a new leaf and be better human beings. Such a Governor will not consider empowering a group of thugs under any guise. Governor Ortom has been preaching peace and security wherever he goes and this he wants to continue doing.

Let everyone who is reading me be rest assured that the Benue State Govt under Samuel Ortom has not empowered any militant group and will not do so in future. This Govt is committed to its promise to use the carrot and stick approach in the implementation of the amnesty programme and there won't be any sacred cows in ensuring that security prevails in all parts of Benue State.

(Terver Akase is the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Benue state on media & ICT.)

No comments:

Post a comment