Notorious militant in Benue State surrenders, granted amnesty

A notorious armed bandit in Benue State have turned a new leaf. In reaction to this, the state government granted him full amnesty. In a thanksgiving service held in his community Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, told the repentant bandit, “Go and sin no more.” Bishop of the Katsina-Ala Diocese, Rev. Peter Adobo, graced the occasion. The governor had offered the Benue-born militant the carrot and stick option. Terwase Akwaza, popularly known as Ghana, took the carrot.

During his brutal days, Akwaza is said to vanish into thin air. The repentant militant handed in over 190 weapons, including AK47 rifles and explosives. At the church Mass, Ghana went down on bended knees as he sought forgiveness from those he had offended. He said he has also forgiven those who had rubbed him the wrong way. He said the thanksgiving was a public manifestation that he is now a true follower of Christ.

Akwaza sees himself as some sought of freedom fighter. According to him, he acquired weapons so as to defend Tiv community from external attacks from Fulani marauders and other armed bandits. Chairman of the Central Planning Committee Augustine Avaan said “Ethnic hostilities against our community had exacted desolately on our people who share boundary with other states. Invasions by Fulani herdsmen, particularly, had been giving us sleepless night. But all of that has died down since Ortom came on board last year with the peace program. We urge him to intensify more efforts so as to halt any resurgence,” Avaan said.

After the Thanksgiving Mass, a colorful reception was held at the premises of the Terwase Akwaza Technical Science Secondary School, Gbise, built by the ex-militant who believes in education as the best weapon for change.