From Austine Tule, Makurdi
Following an expanded meeting called for the immediate release of all repentant youths who were arrested on Tuesday by men of Operation Ayem A Kpatuma on their way to be granted amnesty by the state government, the Benue State Security Council on Friday called for the release of all vehicles and other items forcefully seized by the army during the operation including the official Hilux Vehicle of the Executive Chairman of Katsina-Ala Local Government Council, Hon. Alfred Atera in which the late Terwase Akwaza also known as Gana was being conveyed to Makurdi.
Briefing journalists at the Benue Peoples House Makurdi after the meeting, Governor Samuel Ortom said Council had resolved to demand for the release of the affected youths to enable them complete the amnesty process.
Ortom added that the people of Sankera had expressed deep concerns over the circumstances and stories surrounding the arrest and killing of Gana, noting however that government would continue to interface with the army with a view to arriving at an amicable resolution of the impasse.
He informed that Council also resolved that the amnesty programme be extended to other parts of the state adding that a committee has already been constituted to ensure the training and reintegration of the repentant youths into the society.
The governor appreciated the stakeholders from Sankera who were part of the amnesty programme for the confidence building which had enhanced peace in the area.
Council also called for the beefing up of security in Sankera and other border communities to forestall breakdown of law and order.