• Thursday, May 30, 2024
businessday logo


Benue community seeks amnesty for repentant criminals

Benue community seeks amnesty for repentant criminals

Worried by the spate of reported cases of armed robbery, kidnapping, murder, rape, and other criminal activities in their land, the Shitile people of Katsina-Ala4 local government area of Benue State, have held a peace meeting to seek a solution to the menace.

The meeting, which was authorised by the Executive Governor of Benue State, Dr Samuel Ortom, was held at Tor Donga -the headquarters of Shitile.

Prominent sons and daughters of Shitile nation attended the meeting, which ended successfully well.

Among the key stakeholders at the meeting were: Rt Hon. Mzenda Iho, Ambassador Chive Kaave, Hon. Jonathan Agbidyeh, Rt Hon Ianna Jato, Hon. Jonathan Lahave, Dr Peteru Inunduh, Hon. Augustine Avaan, Hon. Dickson Orlu Powa, Barr. Sekulla Nyior and DCG Denen Akaa (Rtd).

READ ALSO: Benue to partner Innoson Group to promote local content

Others present at the meeting included: Hon. Terfa Atoza, Sir Stephen Orsule, Elder Francis Zaaya, Chief Joseph Awua, Hon. Alfred Iorpav, Reverend Father Bernard Asogo, Reverend Pastor Gabriel Kyagh, Chief (Tyoor) John Kuji and Chief (Tyoor) Joseph Shimagande Ordolugh.

At the meeting, we sued for peace and unity among all Shitile sons and daughters. We also sought an end to the criminal cases in our land.

The stakeholders condemned in strong terms the criminal acts, saying enough is enough!

It was observed that there are other suspected criminals operating in Shitile land and its surrounding environs who are not of Shitile extraction. The stakeholders asked such criminal visitors to vacate their land immediately.

In a communique unanimously signed by 20 of the key stakeholders, the Shitile community pleaded with Governor Ortom to grant amnesty to repentant criminals in Benue State, particularly from their land, who will surrender arms and embrace the governor’s carrot offer.

READ ALSO: Benue gets recognition as fastest-growing IGR state

It was gathered at the meeting that many innocent persons in the area, including travellers, have been gruesomely killed and their properties and cash plundered by these hoodlums. Even Shitile people who are their brothers/parents are not spared. Our local markets can no longer function effectively. The social and economic life of all of us has been negatively affected by these heinous crimes.

In this regard, the stakeholders are to hold indoor talks with the youth for the purpose of curtailing criminal acts in the area, for lasting peace to prevail.

We recalled how the Governor’s amnesty programme during his first term started yielding fruitful results, as the people were living relatively peaceful in their land before the scheme was scuttled.

The Shitile stakeholders, in the communique, also tendered an apology to the Executive Governor for the crimes of their children. They pledged their unalloyed and unflinching loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Samuel Ortom, and Hon. Alfred Avalumun Atera, who is the Chairman of Katsina-Ala Local Government Council.

The Shitile community has also set up a committee to spearhead the implementation of the peacebuilding programme. The committee is mandated to communicate, in writing, the resolutions of the meeting to Governor Ortom, the Tor Tiv HRH Prof. James Ayatse, Sen. Gabriel Torwua Suswam, and Hon. Alfred Avalumun Atera, Executive Chairman of Katsina-Ala Local Government Council.

The stakeholders pledged to support the Governor’s peace/security programmes, given the fact that peace is the prerequisite for development.