From: Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has called on traditional chiefs as well as stakeholders from Konshisha local government area where 12 soldiers were killed on Easter Monday to work hard and ensure that the weapons seized from the slain soldiers are recovered and the bandits apprehended.
The Governor who made the call during an expanded State Security Council meeting yesterday at Government House, Makurdi, noted that if thousands of ammunition seized by militia from the area are not retrieved, the community may continue to be in danger.
He added that as soon as the arms are returned, the State Security Council will review the situation.
While briefing newsmen after the meeting which was attended by former Senator for Benue North East Consuituency Barnabas Gemade and House of Representatives Member for Vandeikya/Konshisha Federal constituency Hon. Herman Hembe, he read out a 10 point communique, maintaining strongly that the meeting resolved that all those involved in the killing of the soldiers should be arrested and prosecuted.
Hear him,” the meeting condemned in strong terms, the killing of the soldiers and expressed condolences to President Muhammadu Buhari, Chief of Army Staff and families of the officers and men.
“The meeting confirmed that six persons including two militia members died during the search for the missing soldiers.
“Stakeholders were advised to restrain themselves from making inflammatory statements and allow the Government and security agencies to handle the matter.
“The meeting tasked traditional rulers and other stakeholders to ensure that all the weapons taken from the murdered soldiers are returned unconditionally.
“To end the lingering crisis between Oju and Konshisha, the meeting resolved that the demarcation of the boundary between the two local government areas be carried out as soon as possible.
“The meeting appreciated the military for accepting the plea of the State Government not to further escalate the destruction of lives and property of innocent citizens in the affected communities of Konshisha.
The meeting equally appreciated traditional rulers and other stakeholders for ensuring that some of the arms returned and urged them to do more for the recovery of all the weapons.
On the humanitarian issue that has arisen as a result of the ugly incident particularly the displacement of thousands of people in the area, Governor Ortom said his government will assess the situation and live up to its responsibility of assisting the displaced persons.