The lawmaker representing Logo/Ukum/Katsina-Ala Federal Constituency at the National Assembly, Dr Richard Gbande, has expressed fear for his safety and that of other leaders of the constituency who negotiated the surrender of the killed militia leader Terwase Agwaza alias Gana and his gang members.
Dr Gbande lamented that the impression in his constituency since the incident had been that religious, traditional and political leader from the area who negotiated the surrender of Gana and his gang members betrayed and gave them out to the military.
Recall that the wanted militant who Tuesday surrendered himself to leaders of Sankera axis of the state comprising Logo, Ukum and Katsina-Ala Local Government Areas was killed by the military after being seized from the leaders near Gboko while being conveyed alongside his gang members to Makurdi to be granted amnesty by the State Security Council.
The lawmaker who spoke yesterday in Makurdi said “the way Gana was killed by the military has created the impression that we lured him out and handed him over to his killers. It is sad because our youths will not believe whatever we tell them anymore.
“As it is we are also scared for our own safety in our constituency because the youths are not happy with what happened.
“If the military had caught him in the bush it would have been a different story but the fact that we the leaders ensured that he embraced the amnesty and in doing that got killed by the military the impression out there is that we sold him out which is completed untrue.”
While describing the death of Gana in the hands of the military as extrajudicial killing, the lawmaker said, “even though I have been consistent in condemning the reign of terror Gana unleashed on our communities, extra-judicial killing of a surrendered repented militant cannot be condoned.
“The Rule of Law and International Humanitarian Laws are sacrosanct and must always prevail hence, extra-judiciai killings of suspects is unacceptable.
“If you arrest a person, he is under your control, and so as a professional military man you cannot gun him down.
“Extra-judicial killing is an infringement of the citizens’ rights to life and state violation of international human rights charter of which Nigeria is a signatory.”
The lawmaker who recommended that Nigerian security agencies be re-orientated on how best to protect the rights of the citizenry appealed to his constituents and youths in the area to remain calm and law-abiding.
He called on the government to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of the militia leader and take further measures to address social, political, economic and environmental challenges that breed banditry and criminality in the region.