By Peter Duru
MAKURDI—A joint operation of the Nigerian Military and Police, yesterday, recovered a cache of arms including 3,000 rounds of live ammunition, 26 assorted fire arms, anti-aircraft guns, grenades and rocket launchers in a bunker near Gbishe in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue State allegedly belonging to wanted militant leader, Terwase Agwaza, also known as Gana.
Displaying the recovered weapons at the Benue State Government House in Makurdi, the Special Adviser on Security to Governor Samuel Ortom, Colonel Edwin Jando (retd.), said the discovery followed a tip-off.
Jando said: “The bunker, where these weapons were discovered, is one of the several bunkers in the crisis-torn Sankera axis of the state, belonging to Gana and his boys.”
He explained that several arrests had been made, stressing that security operatives were on the trail of the wanted militant leader and his gang members.
He acknowledged the role played by the Police Commissioner, Bashir Makama, his Mobile Police counterpart, Ahmed Bello, who was deployed to Benue State in the wake of increased crisis in the Sankera area; and the Commandant of the 72 Special Force Battalion, Colonel Muhammad Inuwa, in ensuring the success of the operation.
Gov Ortom reacts
While inspecting the weapons, Governor Samuel Ortom commended the Army, Air Force, Police and other security agencies for their synergy in the control of crime and urged them to intensify efforts towards recovering more weapons and arresting the kingpin.
He lamented that the wanted militant leader had used the amnesty programme of his administration as a cover up to perpetrate crime, assuring that with the current support of the Federal Government, he would be arrested soon.
Governor Ortom stated that the state security council would not rest on its oars until crime was reduced to the barest minimum in the state.
In his remark, the Commandant of the 72 Special Force Battalion, Colonel Muhammad Inuwa, said all the recovered weapons would be handed over to Police for further investigations.
The Police Commissioner, on his part, said it was too early to release the names of those arrested, assuring that in the course of the operation the names will be made public.