Terwase Akwaza alias Gana whose first name means Gods help, after many years of terrorizing the good people of Benue and its environs, finally succumbed to life vulnerability, all thanks to the Nigerian army with conflicting report of how it should have been done, this and that kind of story but the conclusion is that, he is dead finally, many will say, the great Gana is no more, the shame of Tivland have gone to give account of what he used his life for. The circumstances leading to his death were indeed controversial, with conflicting reports of not following due process, how he was being led by the Venue State Government to surrender.
This writer was overwhelmed by the stories on this case and the reactions by prominent Benue indigenes, being a man on whom fifty (50) million naira bounty was placed on his head for information that could lead to his possible arrest. Well, I hope someone will not tell us how Abubakar Shekau should be granted amnesty.
Bobisky of Gokana whose real name was Honest Digbara was arrested at korokoro in Tai Local government area of the state. He died hours later from gunshot wounds sustained during events preceding his arrest. He was accused of too many atrocities, including the killing of a soldier and police personnel. Indeed Honest Diagbara was never honest. A 30million bounty was placed on his head for any useful information that will lead to his death. He is dead now, no one is crying foul about it. Instead, the policemen who were involved in a gun battle at the burial in korokoro were applauded for giving citizens of the state the opportunity to sleep with their two eyes closed, laudable!
Just like the likes of Shina Rambo,Oyenusi, Lawrence Anini, Osisikankwo and many of their likes who have registered their infamous history in our mind, nothing can take away the many times , Gana and Bobrisky of Gokana have inflicted pain on thousands of people. The many deaths credited to Gana were alarming. He was always identified as the first man of Tiv origin to be this ruthless; it is then surprising how government personalities are crying foul over his death. Something that was inevitable.
One of our political leaders 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”.
You see! Suddenly what should have been a victory for peace and safety of life and properties has generated fear among prominent political leaders in the state, what are they afraid of?
We cannot turn blind eyes to the fact that he was seeking the easy way out to atone for his many crimes. It seems this amnesty thing has turned to a venture for enriching thousands of criminals who have held our throat, snuffing life out at will and destroying properties. People who have decided to be the god on earth deserve no mercy. It is time to really review this amnesty process and who deserved to get one. This development is tempting me to support those who are against state police. This is not the first time. Gana was given amnesty some years back, he went back to his crime after preaching peace for a while; the peace maker became peace destroyer. Certain things we should never turn blind eye to. His activities should be frowned at and not celebrated. One cannot forget in a hurry the over 20 deaths recorded at the Zaki-Biam market on March, 22, 2017 by gunmen suspected to be his loyalist. They wages of such sin is death.
We all can agree that the circumstances of his death was dubious with conflicting reports between eye witness and the military , but however we cannot deny his crimes and I stand against amnesty for people of his kind who will believe that committing atrocities of such can be overlooked. The first time he was granted amnesty, he was to be in given a juicy offer after rehabilitation, a feat, an upright citizen would struggle to attain. We cannot be preaching good citizenry to many and celebrate mediocrity. Maybe we should take up arms too, cause mayhem and then wave the olive tree.
While the whole debacle is going on in Benue state, the police deserve a rousing applause for the arrest of Bobisky of Gokana, who was more than a cultist. Rivers state has been a hotbed of crimes, so much that, it feels genuine to belong to a cult group from where many have transformed to robbers. The arrest and subsequent death of Honest Digbara will always send signals to many of his lots out there who feel they can get away with crime and seek “amnesty” at will. We should not send the wrong message while trying to achieve peace.
The late Yaradua administration that started granting amnesty to militants in in Niger Delta region of the country will always be justified. They did not kill their own citizens, we could feel the same pain after all the effort. They deserved good life, we all deserve better standard of living in this country. They own the black gold, yet not developed. This amnesty need to be defined, the idea behind granting amnesty to criminals is a step not on the right direction. It sends bad signals to others, in reality, there are many Gana and Bobisky in this country who are yet to show that infamous skills, but we can tame them now and send a note of warning to them that crime will never pay.