Saturday, January 30, 2016 12:42 pm
The Secretary to the Benue state Government, Mr Targema Takema, on Saturday described the amnesty programme introduced by the administration to reduce conflicts as a huge success.
Tekema made the remark in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Makurdi.
He berated those criticising the state amnesty programme as “ignorant”.
Tekema said no amount of money expended on securing peace and harmony would be considered too much.
He stressed that only the ignorant would quantify the pursuit for peace and security in monetary terms.
According to him the net gains of government in recovering arms is unquantifiable.
“There can be no development in an arms zone. The large catche of arms recovered through the amnesty programme is enough to equip a battalion of soldiers.
“The amnesty has succeeded in bringing a colony of criminals under control.”
He said the recovery of arms was a significant step towards development.
“The person who holds arms believes he is better than a university professor and the governor of the state because he can use the weapon to get whatever he wants. The scale of damage they do cannot be equated with the monetary benefits meant for the surrender of such weapons.”
The Benue state government voted N80 million for the amnesty programme.
A total of N51 million was set aside as stipends to those who surrender their arms and N29 million for the post amnesty programme.
Over 580 assorted weapons including machines guns, AK 47, automated pistols, among others were handed over to the government.