BY PETER DURU
MAKURDI- A joint operation of the Nigerian military and the Police yesterday recovered cache of fire arms including over 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 the 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, Retired Colonel Edwin Jando said the weapons were found following a tip off in the course of the operation to fish out the masterminds of the several killings and violent crimes in parts of the state.
Jando said, “the bunker where this weapons were discovered is one of the several bunkers in the crisis torn Sankera axis of the state belonging to ‘Gana’ and his boys, we are making efforts to locate all of them in this operation.”
The Adviser explained that several arrests had been made stressing that security operatives were on the trail of the wanted militant leader and his gang members assuring that the operation was ongoing with the aim of restoring peace in the area.
He acknowledged the role played by the Police Commissioner, Bashir Makama, his Mobile Police counterpart Ahmed Bello who was deployed to Benue 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.
Inspecting the weapons, Governor, Samuel Ortom commended security agents for discovering the bunker and urged them to intensify efforts towards recovering more weapons and arresting the kingpin.
He regretted 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 who stated that the state security council would not rest on its oars until crime was reduced to the barest minimum in the state commended the Army, Air Force, Police and other security agencies for their synergy in the control of crime.
In his remark, the Commandant of the 72 Specail Force Battalion, Colonel Muhammad Inuwa said all the recovered weapons would be handed over to the Police for further investigations.
The Police Commissioner on his part said it was too early to release the names of throes arrested assuring that in the course of the operation the names of those arrested would be made public.