By Nwafor Sunday
Reactions have continued to trail the arrest and death of the most wanted criminal in Benue state, Terwase Akwaza, alias ‘Gana’.
According to the Commander, 4 Special Forces Command, Doma, Nasarawa state, Moundhey Ali, Gana was killed on Tuesday at a roadblock mounted by the army along Gbese-Gboko-Makurdi road following exchange of gunfire.
Recall that the Benue State Government had in 2015 granted amnesty to over 500 persons including Gana, who were terrorising parts of Benue and Taraba states.
Gana was later in 2017 declared wanted by the police while the Benue State Government placed a N10 million bounty on him.
How Gana was killed:
According to Ali: “At about 12:00 hours today (Tuesday), we received strategic information on the movement of the dreaded bandit Terwase Akwaza Agbadu AKA Gana along Gbese-Gboko-Makurdi road.
“Troops of Operation ‘Ayem Akpatuma III’ moved swiftly and mounted snap roadblocks along the routes.
“At about 13:00 hours, there was a meeting engagement with the convoy of Gana, a shoot out ensued and the bandit was killed.”
The commander also said that 40 armed members of Gana’s gang were captured during the operation.
Barely 24 hours after his death prominent Nigerians have condemned his death, asking the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari why it permitted the killing of an alleged criminal that surrendered, but rehabilitate confirmed terrorists that did not surrender;
Below are comments from Nigerians:
“I don’t understand why the Nigerian government will kill an alleged criminal that surrendered, but rehabilitate confirmed terrorists that did not surrender, but were overpowered and captured. Gana may or may not have been guilty. That was for a court to decide!”
I was shocked by Gana’s killing – Ortom
“I reached out to the Commander of the Force and told him that I was surprised and needed an explanation.
“He assured me that he would come and brief me but I must say that I am shocked at what happened. I do not want to join issues with the military but I have a duty to protect the lives of the people.”
READ ALSO: Suswam condemns Gana’s killing by soldiers
“I want Benue people, especially Sankera people to remain calm,” Ortom pleaded.
Senator Gabriel Suswam
Suswam’s Statement read : ” The events of September 8 2020 in my senatorial district where repentant criminals who had surrendered after extensive persuasions were singled out and killed extra judicially leaves a sour taste and has opened a gaping wound that requires all efforts to heal.
“It is no secret that my senatorial district has been traumatized and the people terrorized by activities of criminal gangs led by MR Terwase Agwaza alias Gana for many years.
“The consequences of this endless terrorism has been a steady decline of economic and social activities leaving a once prosperous people pauperized. Markets no longer attract traders, schools are closed and farmlands abandoned. Politics in the area has become war with an uncontrolled proliferation of dangerous weapons.
“No responsible leader will idly standby and watch his community become a theatre of war and a gangster’s paradise.
“It is with this solution mindset that traditional rulers, clergy men and elders of the area decided to utilize means of constructive engagement and dialogue to ensure that youths of the area do not become tools for the destruction of that society”.