…Recovers 8 riffles confiscated from slain soldiers as SEMA profiles communities/victims
By Peter Duru
Two paramount rulers in Konshisha Local Government Area, LGA, the Vice Chairman of the council and the councilor representing Mbagusa/Mbatsev Council Ward where 12 soldiers were killed on Easter day have been handed over to the Police for investigation.
This came as Benue State government in collaboration with stakeholders in the council recovered eight of the 12 riffles confiscated from the slain soldiers.
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State who made this known yesterday after presiding over an expanded State Security Council, SSC, meeting in Makurdi which had stakeholders of the LGA in attendance, commended them for supporting the government to realize the promise he made to the military high command and the federal government that everything would be done to recover the confiscated weapons.
He said “in line with the promise I made to the military and the Defence Minister we have so far recovered eight of the 12 rifles including a machine gun that was removed from a van. This has brought the recovered weapons to nine, since the military had earlier recovered one. The process of recovering the remaining three is in progress and we will ensure that all the weapons are recovered and returned to the army.”
The Governor said those handed over to the police for further investigation were the District Head of Iuuar Nyam, Chief Unaha Koko, the acting Kindred head of Mbator, Chief Emmanuel Achirgbenda, the Vice Chairman of Konshisha LGA Mr. Sam Kave and the Councilor representing Mbagusa/Mbatsev Council Ward, Mr. Mela Yange.
“We believe that this four people will assist the police in the investigation of the matter,” he said.
According to the Governor, the SSC also mandated him to lead a delegation to President Muhammadu Buhari to condole with him over the death of the soldiers and also apologize for the unfortunate incident.
Meanwhile the Benue State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA has carried out an assessment of the destruction and damages caused by the crisis in the local government.
The Executive Secretary, SEMA, Dr. Emmanuel Shior, who visited the affected areas yesterday, explained that Governor Ortom directed him to visit the areas and assess the victims for immediate intervention by providing relief to cushion their plight.
While interacting with the traditional rulers, community leaders and the victims, Dr. Shior who condemned the attacks on the community by the military and as well as the attack on the military by the militia said the Governor was doing everything possible to bring peace between the feuding communities of Konshisha and Oju.
Addressing some of the victims at the Gungul Market Square, Dr. Shior called on the Federal Government, relevant agencies and Non Governmental Organizations, NGO, to quickly come to the aid of the victims of the crisis.
Youths and traditional rulers in the community while welcoming the team expressed sadness over the incident in the LGA and lauded Governor Ortom for his peace efforts.
The areas affected and assessed by the SEMA team were Gungul, Agidi, Aku, Adoka, Bonta, Gbinde, Tse-Anyon and Guleya communities.