I never asked military to return seized weapons – Ortom

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Tuesday said contrary to report, he never asked the military to return the weapons recovered from the repentant youths.

In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, the governor stated what he asked for on behalf of the State Security Council was the release of vehicles and other items such as official documents confiscated by the army during the operation, including the official Hilux vehicle of the Executive Chairman of Katsina-Ala Local Government Council, Alfred Atera.

Late Terwase Akwaza, also known as Gana, was said to be in the Hilux vehicle on his way to Makurdi for an amnesty programme before he was killed.

Ortom said he also requested the release of the repentant militias with the considered resolution of the council that the release of the affected youths would enable them to complete the amnesty process, which would reshape their lives as better human beings.

“It is on record that at the end of the 2015/2016 Amnesty Programme, which Governor Ortom anchored, more than 800 Benue youths, including Terwase Akwaza, embraced the scheme and over 1,000 weapons were recovered.

“The question now is, if the governor publicly destroyed the recovered weapons then, why would his administration want to keep the ones recently surrendered by the repentant youths? Such insinuation is senseless,” the statement reads partly.

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