Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has said that he never asked the military to return the weapons recovered from the repentant youths.
Governor Ortom in a press statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase on Tuesday said that return of weapons military recovered from the repentant militias was not part of request he made
Ortom who was reacting to media report said that his request was for the release of vehicles and other items such as official documents confiscated by the army during the operation including the official Hilux Vehicle of the Executive Chairman of Katsina-Ala Local Government Council, Hon. Alfred Atera, in which the late Terwase Akwaza also known as Gana was being conveyed to Makurdi for the amnesty programme.
The statement said that it was the considered resolution of the Council that the release of the affected youths would enable them to complete the amnesty process which would reshape their lives as better human beings.
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Part of the statement read, “It is on record that at the end of the 2015/2016 Amnesty Programme which Governor Ortom anchored, more than 800 Benue youths including Terwase Akwaza embraced the scheme and over 1,000 weapons were recovered and the Governor invited United Nations, the Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons, PRESCOM, as well as other relevant organizations who took part in the public destruction of the recovered weapons in Makurdi.
The question now is, if the Governor publicly destroyed the recovered weapons then, why would his administration want to keep the ones recently surrendered by the repentant youths? Such insinuation is senseless.
We find the said online publication as a gross misrepresentation of what took place after the Benue State Security Council meeting.
Governor Samuel Ortom will not be distracted from his focus on ensuring peace in the state and continued support to security forces to guarantee the safety of lives and property of Benue people.