By Timothy Vihimga
It all started some time ago when the Executive Chairman, Ukum Local Government, Hon. Ayua Stevie Terwase initiated some actions which altogether culminated into the recent famous amnesty programme which held in the new banquet hall of the Benue State Government House Makurdi.
During the visit of Dr Gabriel Suswam, the Senator representating Benue North East Senatorial District to the Ukum Traditional Council (UTC) to condole the monarchs over the death of Tyoor Awua Alabar, he said that the Ukum Local Government example of engaging bandits to drop their guns should be replicated in the other two local government councils in the Sankera intermediate Area.
Interestingly, it happened that the proposal by the Senator would later result to a full amnesty programme some few weeks afterwards.
The amnesty programme of the Benue State Government has worked so much to improve the security situation in Ukum Local Government in particular and Sankera axis as a whole in that the prevailing peace that has trailed the programme is quite unprecedented, just second to none.
Peace is in Ukum Local Government. Peace is in Sankera. This is a statement of fact.
Inorder to consolidate on peace already achieved in Ukum Local Government and it’s environs, the Council Chairman, Hon. Ayua had yet again embarked on another leg of his engagements, this time to the outfit of the Special Forces, code-named “Operation Whirlstroke” stationed in Kente, a border town in Taraba State.
The visit which took place on 9th October, 2020 brought the Chairman face to face with the Unit Commander of the Special Forces, Lieutenant Michael Onuaha, and the personnel of the unit.
The interface with the Special Forces was most strategic in ways more than one.
First and foremost, the meeting was a peace and confidence building measures by the leadership of the local government to have close relationship with the military authorities in order to share ideas and intelligence on how best to permanently eradicate banditry and sustain the peace efforts between the warring communities of Tiv and Jukun in Taraba with contagious effect in Benue State.
Secondly, the meeting intended to allay the fears of the locals who think rather erroneously that the presence of the military in one side of a state would definitely not favour people of the other side and vise versa.
Thus, the meeting gave reassurances to the local communities that the presence of the military was for the interest of all, irrespective of tribe, religious and other chauvinistic considerations.
As Officer Onuaha had put it, “Hon. Ayua has achieved peace in record time; nobody thought he could achieve what he did in that time frame”, he had concluded.
Hon. Ayua has basically taken everybody by surprised, even his supposedly severe critics that peace can be achieved with the ingredients of sincerity and commitment.
This is evident in the fact that every passing day witnesses many other youths stealthily coming out to embrace the peace ideas of the Hon. Ayua’s chairmanship.
So far, so good. Just this morning, 16th October, 2020, the Chairman handed over twenty pieces of mattresses and a generator newly purchased for the police posted to Vaase, a borderline town in Ukum Local Government a befitting accommodation secured for them.
Donating the materials to the Gbeji Divisional Officer, DSP Igba Samuel in company of the Zaki Biam DPO, S P Ibrahim Dutse, the Chairman, Hon. Ayua said that the materials were part of the contributions of his administration in tackling security challenges at the border communities as the displaced people of Tiv-Jukun crisis in Taraba State were returning to their ancestral homes.
He said that his administration appealed to the state and federal governments for additional police personnel to cater for security deficit in his local government, stressing that ten policemen were posted to Ayati town for the same purpose.
The DPOs were full of gratitude for the concerted efforts of the Chairman in securing the local government.
The Ukum Local Government has not had it so good like this before as the Chairman is not resting on his oars in ensuring that his search for peace in Ukum Local Government succeeds.
Special Assistant on Media to the Chairman