By Peter Duru
MAKURDI—Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, yesterday, handed down a 72-hour ultimatum to leaders in Agatu Local Government Area to produce the masterminds of the killing of a serving military personnel in the area.
The governor, who spoke in Makurdi, the state capital, condemned the killing, describing it as barbaric, unacceptable and unwarranted.
He said: “Government would do everything possible within the law to ensure that those involved are identified, sanctioned and brought to justice.”
Governor Ortom warned that the period of impunity and recklessness ended with the window provided by his amnesty programme, and that henceforth, anyone who had illegal weapons should surrender them or have them recovered by force.
According to the governor, “if Agatu youths had surrendered their weapons during the period of the carrot approach of our amnesty programme, the incident that took place would have been avoided.
“We apologise for what has happened and we also sympathise with the Army over the loss. As a government, we will continue to cooperate with security agencies to ensure that peace is restored to that area.”
Earlier, the Special Adviser on Security, Colonel Edwin Jando, took the governor round to inspect some of the weapons recovered from militant youths in Agatu.