….calls on FG to bring sponsors to book
Chris Steven, Abuja
The Good Governance and Transparency Initative has reacted to the arrest of Aminu Yaminu, otherwise known as Tarshaku, who was believed to have masterminded the recent killings in Benue State.
The group commended the army for swinging into action by fishing out the suspect.
Mrs. Jaiyeola Mohammed, the Executive Director of the group, while speaking at a commendation rally held around Abuja in reaction to the arrest , urged security agents to bring those behind the killings to book.
Mohammed said the group commended the military for arresting Tarshaku, who also goes by the name Aminu Yaminu, a Boko Haram commander serving in a state government.
He said, “We understand he has provided useful information that indicate that his evil acts were not primarily motivated by his ethnicity or religion. Rather, he was executing the instructions of political patrons that are not even of the same ethnic stock as himself.
“The stories about “herdsmen reprisal” were apparently promoted by these Tashaku’s sponsors to divert attention from whatever their true intentions are. Hopefully, our superb military intelligence will at some point uncover what these intentions are.
“The Coalition for Good Governance had earlier hinted that the killings and destruction in Benue State that were credited to herdsmen have political undertones as they are nothing compared to the friction between herdsmen and farmers like we used to know.
” The gruesome killings have the trappings of killers that have instruction to dispense as much terror as they can.
“Much as there are confirmations that Tashaku is a Boko Haram kingpin, these should not rule out investigating the assertions that have been made repeatedly that some Governors like Samuel Ortom of Benue deliberately armed these elements to cause chaos, havoc and destroy lives in order to divert attention from the real issues confronting the country, which is that state governors are raping their states’ treasuries; they are taking loans in the name of the their states that is ending up in private accounts while no viable projects are executed neither are staff salaries paid.
“The arrest of Tashaku and others like gunmen arrested in Guma Local Government Area of Benue state, Abubakar Umaru, Adamu Likita, and Yusufa Alhaji Yaro point to the fact that they were recruited to act out well-crafted scripts that would pitch ethnic configurations against each other while creating a widespread sense of terror that have allowed someone like the Benue state governor to escape scrutiny about his ineffectual handling of the state’s affairs through the active sponsorship of known terrorists.
“Now that key suspects are in custody, we charge the military to squeeze them for all the information they have so that security and law enforcement agents can go after all the sponsors without fear or favour. This will ensure that the efforts of the military to make Nigeria safe is not wasted because of a few individuals. We warn that a failure to go after the sponsors of the violence in Benue and neighboring states would be similar to attempt killing a snake without cutting the head off – cutting off the head of the monster in Benue state will be faster and more effective in providing a final solution.
“We understand that a desperation to conceal the true identity of the persons behind the killings was responsible for the murder of a soldier in Benue state just last month. The military authorities must investigate this and also find out the level of collaboration that exist between community youths and the killers.
“Even with his immunity, it is time the whole country bring the Benue state Governor, Samuel Ortom to justice. Several months ago it was revealed that Tashaku, the head of the militia he set up under the pretext of Livestock Guards, is a known Boko Haram member. Yet, Ortom kept this killer on the payroll, financing the killing of innocent Nigerians with Benue money. No wonder repeated military efforts to flush out the killers faced obstacles because the head of Benue Security is the enemy they did not realize they were fighting against. This is nothing but a ridicule of our collective sensibility since Ortom and Tashaku watched Nigerians mourn daily while playing the victims.
“Our coalition commends President Muhammadu Buhari for not relenting in his support for the military to tackle insecurity in Benue state and the nation in general despite the treasonable sabotage of the likes of Governor Ortom. We urge Mr. President to leverage his position as his party leader to sanction Ortom and ensure he is not rewarded with another four years to continue killing Nigerians. Pending when this happens, we request that Mr. President mandate law enforcement agencies to go after the governor’s aides and appointees who might have collaborated with him in carrying out these killings through the apprehended terrorists and the ones still at large.
“While we have been vindicated by our earlier stance that our military is equal to the task and just need to be given the needed the support, we nonetheless call on Nigerians to support the institution at this critical time to ensure that the remaining terrorists hiding under the respectability of government appointments are identified and prosecuted. We therefore call on the military to sustain its manhunt for all those indicted in the killings until the Middle Belt can again be a safe haven for citizens. As we say our thanks to the military, we appeal to them to be swift in bringing closure so that these terrorists’ sponsors do not have time to strategize and entrench themselves as they had done in the Northeast.
“Our march today honour the Nigerian Military for the valiant role in unmasking the bloodsucking demon that Samuel Ortom is. We commend our troops. But we may subsequently have a rally for recrimination to deal with the governor and his minions if he fails to find honour even in his pevert soul to do the needful.”