By Bright Nwogu
The Sankera Youth Forum (SYF) has called on the lawmaker representing Benue North-East in the National Assembly, Senator Gabriel Suswam to withdraw his statement on notorious militia leader, Terwase Akwaza, popularly known as Gana.
Sankera consists of three of the seven local government areas which makes up the senatorial district which the ex-governor represents and was among the worst affected by Gana’s terror activities.
The group said Suswam’s remarks mourning Gana pierced their hearts with a poisonous arrow and desecrated the graves of innocent souls he gunned down.
Gana, who was notorious for terrorizing Benue and parts of Taraba states in over five years was killed on Tuesday by military personnel after an exchange of gun fire.
Following Suswam’s reaction afterwards, the Sankera youths expressed disappointment with their Senator, describing his stance as debasing and destructive thoughts.
In a statement issued by its interim president, Mr. Mark Orshi, in Katsina-Ala, on Friday, the SYF said for Suswam to dare to mourn Gana as he publicly did, he has undermined his status as leader and comes as a slap on the faces of his people.
The youths said it is even more painful as people of Sankera stood by Suswam during his ordeal, which culminated in arrest, detention and arraignment by the Benue State Government over alleged corruption.
“We find the statement to be not only nauseating, horrible and abhorrent but a mindless abuse of the privileges’ and the mandate entrusted to Suswam by the people of Sankera and other brethren across the Senatorial district,” Orshi said.
” But we find it condemnable that Suswam would ignore the blood of the innocent souls whose lives were brutally cut short by Gana to generously fart on the graves of victims of Gana and his armed gangs’ murderous and satanic acts against his own people to be tacitly mourning his death in spite of the people.
” For Suswam to dare publicly mourn the death of Gana in the hands of Soldiers in the jungle; fault the manner of his death and attempt to question security agents on procedural errors of law, undermines his status as leader and comes as a slap on the faces of the people.
” Sen. Suswam’s comment over the demise of Gana in whatever manner is sacrilegious and only establishes the extent the Senator has devalued the entire community of Sankera.
” This is more painful as the people of Sankera have always stood behind Suswam in all his travails as a politician and leader to ensure he is not only fairly treated, but also, not unjustly maligned and persecuted.
” Not too long ago, Sankera youths firmly stood behind Suswam when the Benue state administration of Gov. Samuel Ortom gingered his arrest and detention by the Department of State Security Services (DSS) and subsequent arraignment in court over allegations of corrupt diversion and looting of public funds when he served as Governor of Benue.
“The people protested even to Abuja; wrote petitions against his unlawful detention by the DSS; mounted relentless pressures on the political and traditional leadership in the state to ensure he is released. It was because it is inherent in the people of Sankera to abhor injustice in whatever configuration.
“SAYF has cross-checked the records again and again, but cannot identify anywhere they have wronged Sen. Suswam to warrant this shameful jubilation over the years of satanic bloodletting, massacres’ and carnages on our land masterminded by Gana and his armed group with such boldness.”
The Sankera youths added that everything is not politics or determined by the power of naira and kobo, stressing that Gana’s life is not more important than the troops whom he engaged before he was killed.
It further revealed that, “the families of innocent citizens in Taraba, Nasarawa and Benue States whose blood was used as wine and their bodies as bread by Gana and his armed foot soldiers would be appalled that anybody would show uncommon sympathy to their worst tormentor”.
The group, however, warned Suswam to retract the “obnoxious public statement with an apology”.