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What Gana Would Have Taught Us About Crime – Sen. Suswam

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Suswam

The killing of Terwase Akwaza, better known as Gana by the Nigerian army has been condemned by Gabriel Suswam, Senator representing Benue north-east.

Gana, was alleged to be the most wanted criminal in the state.

He was killed  in an exchange of gunfire on Tuesday, after which 40 members of his gang were Captured.

However, in a contrary narrative, Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom, said the army killed him while he was on his way to surrender.

In a statement on Wednesday, Suswam said security operatives have not learnt lessons from the crisis triggered by the killing of Mohammed Yusuf, founder of the Boko Haram sect.

Security operatives were said to have killed Yusuf in front of the police headquarters in Maiduguri, Borno state, in 2009, and shortly after the sect launched a campaign of violence which rages till date.

The former Benue governor noted that the killing of Gana, has deprived the state of the opportunity to learn “vital lessons” about the structure of crime in the state.

He recalled how Boko Haram escalated, noting that  it was after a similar murder of its leader

He said If this method is accepted as a norm in the country, there will be no need for laws and courts.

We stand to benefit more by subjecting suspects to due process of the law. Information extracted from a living Gana would have helped security agents get to the root of activities of criminals.

“By this gestapo style execution, we have missed an opportunity to learn vital lessons about the structure of crime in the area. Even war criminals captured alive are entitled to certain rights.

“I was totally dumbfounded to learn that while Gana was on his way to Makurdi the state capital to present himself to the State Governor who was waiting, his long convoy that included political leaders, Traditional rulers, clergy men and security agencies was ambushed by allegedly armed soldiers and he isolated and taken away.

“In the midst of the confusion, pictures began to circulate on social media of the bullet ridden body of Gana with a rifle callously placed on his side.”

He said many were excited by the news that Gana had “renounced crime”, adding that his death has escalated tension in the area.

Our joy was multiplied when we saw him along with his militia surrender arms and publicity renounce a life of crime. Our revered king extracted a pledge from him never to turn his kingdom into a wasteland,” he said.

He ended by saying thiis is a time to heal and not war, adding that it is a time to rebuild our fractured society.