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I didn’t order release of weapons recovered from suspects, says Ortom

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Samuel Ortom. Photo: IREPORTERS

Loses two aides
Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has said that he did not ask the military to return the weapons recovered from repentant youths.

Making the denial yesterday in a statement signed his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, the governor maintained that the article, which cited a tweet credited to the Special Assistant to the Senate President on New Media, was not only false but also enmeshed in mischief.

“The call I made on behalf of the State Security Council was for the release of official documents and operation vehicles – including the official Hilux of the Executive Chairman of Katsina-Ala Council, Alfred Atera, in which the late Terwase Akwaza (a.k.a. Gana) was being conveyed to Makurdi for the amnesty programme – confiscated by the army during the raid.

“It was the considered resolution of the council that the release of the affected youths would enable them complete the amnesty process, which would reshape their lives as better human beings,” Ortom said.

While urging Nigerians to disregard the insinuation in its entirety, he said the online publication was a gross misrepresentation of what took place after the Benue State Security Council meeting.

“The writer’s claim that Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) also quoted the governor as having demanded the return of the recovered weapons is equally false, as the television station did not air such a report.

“I will not be distracted from my focus on ensuring peace in the state and continued support to security forces to guarantee the safety of lives and properties of Benue people,” the governor added.

MEANWHILE, Ortom has expressed deep sadness over the deaths of his Special Adviser on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Jerome Torshimbe; and Personal Assistant on Special Duties, Famous Adejo.

He told journalists at Benue Peoples House, Makurdi, yesterday, that he knew the late Torshimbe when they were council chairmen from 1990 to 1993 and that they had worked closely since then.

The governor described the deceased as an experienced and competent administrator who had added immense value to his government.

He noted that the late Torshimbe was very supportive to many, including widows and orphans.

Adejo, he added, was a hardworking individual who defied all odds to acquire higher education up to master’s level and was studying for his doctorate degree when death struck.

He announced his decision to train Adejo’s only son, who just completed secondary education, up to university level.

Ortom described the two deaths as very painful and prayed God to grant the bereaved families the fortitude to bear the losses and the deceased aides eternal rest.


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Benue stateSamuel Ortom
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