About 200 trained members of the Gana-led terror group remain in the forests of Benue North East and parts of neighbouring Taraba State, according to a leader of the gang.
Aondehemba, as he identified himself to The Nation during an encounter in Keffi, Nasarawa State yesterday evening, said Gana had instructed his second in command to take over in the event that he (Gana) got killed during his trip from Katsina Ala to Makurdi.
Aondehemba a.k.a. “Major’ said Gana, whose real name is Terwase Akwaza, seemed to have a premonition of his death before venturing out of the forest on Tuesday to accept the offer of amnesty from the state government.
‘Major’ spoke on his way to Abuja to commiserate with one of the widows of Gana.
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State said yesterday that he would not take issues with the military on the circumstance of Gana’s death.
Speaking in Tiv, ‘Major’ said: “We warmed him not to come out. We told him that the said amnesty was a ploy to get him.
“He agreed with us but said he had made up his mind to surrender and that he was tired of staying in the bush.
“He told us that he was coming out from the bush to honour the Bishop of Gboko William Aveyam and Senator Gabriel Suswam, both of whom he said had been mounting pressure on him in the last three months to come out and embrace peace, and that he had made up his mind to embrace peace.”
Aondehemba said Gana had a structured ’empire’ in place in the forest with over 200 well trained armed men spread across Benue North East and parts of Taraba State.
“It is a battalion. We are many and have a very strong network. Gana was a leader that cared so much about us.
“On that very day, he assembled us in the morning in the bush and addressed us. He directed us on what to do if he did not return alive.
“He told us that if his coming out was a setup, the battle should continue, but if it was with genuine intention, he would want us to lay down our arms.”