By Peter Duru – Makurdi
Humanitarian worker and social activist, Mr. Ukan Kurugh has disclosed that he had for some weeks discussed with the late militia leader, Terwase Agwaza also known as ‘Gana’ before his eventual surrender and death during which he stated clearly that he did not want the police and the military to play a part in his surrender and movement to Makurdi.
Kurugh who made the disclosure Thursday while speaking exclusively to Vanguard in Makurdi said the wanted militia leader willingly accepted to come out of hiding and accept the amnesty because he was tired of hiding and knew that Governor Ortom meant well by granting the amnesty.
The activists who in 2016 also met with the militia leader in his hideout in Gbishe forest said ‘Gana’ had preferred to entrust his safety and protection to the DSS in the course of his surrender and being granted amnesty by the government because he had confidence in them.
Kurugh in his account said, “I started having contact with Gana lately when he called me suddenly. I quickly rushed to the Department of State Services, DSS, and the police to inform them that I had contact with him and that he wanted to come out of hiding.
“He said that he wanted to stop the crisis along the axis known as Sankera (Ukum, Logo and Katsina-Ala LGAs) and live in peace because he was tired of running and hiding and not being able to see his wives and children. He said a lot of things and he knew that Governor Ortom meant well for him.
“And in the course of our discussions, he made his demands which I communicated to the DSS, some officers of the military and the Police.
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“He said clearly that he did not trust the Police and the army and wanted to work with just the DSS who I was in contact with after my first contact with him.
“Regrettably what he expressed fears about was what played out after he came out of hiding leading to his killing.
“I feel so sad that we could not keep to the terms of the bargain. The way and manner he was killed is a terrible one for everybody.
“It was an extrajudicial killing which should be condemned by everybody. He said he wanted peace and came out from hiding voluntarily and he was waylaid along the line and murdered in cold blood.
“So it seems something is underneath that we do not know. Perhaps they did not want him to come out alive.
“We believe that if he had come out and spoken there would have been peace in that area because he knew a lot of things some of us, even the security agencies did not know.
“But killing him is like us losing all the information that would have been useful in the quiet for peace in that area.
“I must state clearly just like ‘Gana’ said that Governor Ortom meant well by granting him amnesty as requested by the people of Sankera and people supported the move because it was the best initiative to have peace in that area and people were happy for that but this unfortunate ending is now capable of truncating this laudable initiative of the Governor.”
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