Soldiers on Tuesday arrested Benue State most wanted militia kingpin, Terwase Akwasa, popularly known as “Gana” near Yandev roundabout in Gboko Local Government Area of the state.
However, the military authorities announced that he was subsequently killed in a fire fight with soldiers.
Daily Trust reports that Gana, alongside some of his gang members were intercepted while being conveyed by the council of Sankera traditional rulers from Katsina-Ala town to Makurdi to be granted amnesty.
Governor Samuel Ortom told newsmen at a press conference at about 8:30 pm that over 172 of the outlaws embraced the amnesty and were being brought for formal presentation to the state security council before the soldiers took away Gana and many others.
“We heard that some soldiers intercepted them after they took off from Katsina-Ala, at a roadblock near Yandev roundabout.
“Gana, who was among them was apprehended alongside several others and taken away in their vehicle.
“We tried to reach out to General Yekini who confirmed to me that they (Army) were responsible and will bring him later,” he said.
Ortom further disclosed that in the aftermath of the arrest, some of the boys returned to Katsina-Ala, while only 42 reached their destination in Government House, Makurdi.
But in a twist, the commander of the 4 Special Forces Command in Nasarawa State, Brig-General Maude Gadzama announced Tuesday that Terwase Akwasa “Gana” was killed in a fire fight with the military.
Our correspondent reports that the idea of another amnesty programme surfaced following a stakeholders meeting of Sankera elders two weeks ago where the Gana’s gang allegedly willingly agreed to lay down their arms if granted amnesty.
Elders, including political leaders from the area, were said to have prevailed on Governor Samuel Ortom to extend the olive branch to the fugitives.
The Force Commander of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), Major General, Adeyemi Yekini and State Commissioner of Police, Mukaddas Garba, however, remained mute over the development as they neither responded to calls or text messages put through their telephone lines.
Gana had been on the run since May 2016 for alleged cases of kidnapping, robbery, murder, and cattle rustling, as well as terrorising residents around his home area and Taraba State border towns.