The renewed air strikes by theOperation Whirl Stroke in Benue State supported by Mi35 Helicopters from the Nigerian Air Force and other surveillance aircraft has led to the killing of a member of a militia led by Terwase Akwaza, popularly known as Gana.
Punch reports that the air operation, which started penultimate Friday, led to the arrest of three members of the same gang in Ayaka near the Katsina Ala Local Government Area of the state.
The Security Adviser to the Benue State Governor, Col. Paul Hemba (retd.), told our correspondent that the third gang member was arrested in Taraba by the troops of 93 Battalion and had already confessed to killing the governor’s former Senior Special Assistant on Security, Denen Igbana.
Hemba said troops had uncovered a thick forest in the Logo LGA, which the bandits used as a hideout.
The security adviser, who promised army bombardment of the area, explained that the air strikes in Benue were intelligence-based and, targeted at dislodging Gana, who he described as the most wanted gang leader, and his men.
Hemba added, “So far, the herdsmen killings have reduced drastically in the state and we are now focusing on Gana. We will soon clamp down on him. Gana is running about like a cockroach. His charms have failed him and if the military continues with this impressive performance, we will get him.
“All his bodyguards have deserted him. Just this morning (Friday), one of his bodyguards was killed, while another one was arrested.
“Therefore, his days are numbered. Before now, you dared not mention Gana’s name. But now, you can go to his enclave.”
The adviser noted that innocent people were not arrested, adding that the operation took place in a remote area based on intelligence that Gana and his gang members were camped in and around the area.
He stated, “There was no other casualty or collateral damage during the air strike, with the exception of the three members of the gang who were arrested and one killed in the course of the air bombardment.
“However, the prime suspect and mastermind of the killings in the Katsina Ala axis is yet to be arrested. We are not in the know of anyone wrongfully or illegally arrested yet.”