UNMASKING The Arrested Benue Gov. Ortom's Special Assistant Who Claimed He Was FG Sponsored Boko Haram Kingpin - Welcome to Uju Ayalogu's Blog

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Sunday, 13 May 2018

UNMASKING The Arrested Benue Gov. Ortom's Special Assistant Who Claimed He Was FG Sponsored Boko Haram Kingpin

UNMASKING The Arrested Benue Gov. Ortom's Special Assistant Who Claimed He Was FG Sponsored Boko Haram Kingpin

THE arrest of the commandant of Benue State’s Livestocks Guard, Aliyu Tershaku, by joint military task force in Makurdi, recently, is creating ripples in the state. Questions are being asked as regards who he really is. How could a Boko Haram “suspect,” as claimed by the military, be in charge of enforcing Benue State’s anti-grazing law?

The Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, Major Olabisi Ayeni, had said in a statement that the military had arrested a Boko Haram suspect linked to the killings in Benue State.

“Nigerian troops have arrested the key Boko Haram suspect known as Aminu Yaminu nicknamed ‘Tershaku’ who is  believed to have masterminded most of the recent attacks in Benue State.

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“Aminu had concluded plans with his cohorts in Bauchi, Borno, Yobe and Nasarawa states to launch a major attack on innocent citizens in Benue State,” the statement read.

The arrest has continued to raise posers, considering that the alleged Boko Haram kingpin is not only the state commandant of the state’s Livestock Guard but he is also a Senior Special Assistant to the governor.

It will be recalled that the military in January, arrested some militants at Benue/Taraba border during which the arrested militias mentioned the suspect, “Tershaku,” as their arms supplier and the one responsible for their training, a claim which he denied in an interview he once had with Saturday Tribune.

On his involvement in Boko Haram activities, Tershaku had said he was merely a Federal Government informant in the Boko Haram circle who had facilitated the arrest of some Boko Haram members sometime in 2011.

“Let me inform you of how the report of my membership of Boko Haram came to be. You see, I was once the one giving the Federal Government information about the activities of Boko Haram and this led to the arrest of some of the members in 2011,” he said, adding that his knowledge of security prompted some of the security chiefs to bring him into the security apparatus of Benue and Nasarawa states, especially at the height of the Fulani herdsmen crisis in 2014.

At every forum, Tershaku had insisted that his conscription into the security arrangement in the state was made possible by a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police.

“My coming into the security operation in the state was because of the then DIG, Operations. The security chiefs in the state — the CP, commandant, 72 Battalion, civil defence were all there at the meeting between Nasarawa and Benue states at the Banquet Hall, Government House, Makurdi,” he claimed.

But the million dollar question agitating the minds of many people is, who is Tershaku?

At the time he became a regular face in Benue State, the man was famously known as “Tashaku,” which the military recently referred to as his nickname. This name, according to a source, was what he was well known with from Nasarawa.

But he later told newsmen who used to call him “Tashaku” that his name was actually “Tershaku,” with the “Ter” meant to reflect his Tiv origin.

In some quarters, his identity and origin remain shrouded in secrecy. While some claim he is an Hausa man, others say he is a Tiv man from Nasarawa State. Some others agree that he is a Benue-born Tiv from Guma Local Government Area.

Those who subscribe to his Hausa origin hinge their conviction on the fact that he is more fluent in Hausa than Tiv language and that he is more comfortable with Hausa people than the Tivs. But those who claim he is a Tiv man opine that his long interaction with Hausa/ Fulani in Nasarawa may have affected his fluency in Tiv language.

But one thing that cannot be taken away from him is his native intelligence. He is a fast listener but slow to respond when approached for an interview. This he attributed to his security experience.

“I did not have the opportunity to go beyond primary school but I am always cautious of my dealings with people,” he once told this reporter.

A former Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, once spoke of what he knew about Tashaku. He told Saturday Tribune that the first time he heard of “Tashaku” was a few years ago.

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“I said he could not have hailed from Benue State. Later, I had cause to see him again where he told me that he was a member of Boko Haram and immediately, I sent a report to all the necessary security agencies about his status. Unfortunately, nothing was done,” Tsav said.

Guma Local Government chairman, Anthony Shawon, confirmed to this reporter that Tershaku is from his local government — and of the Nzorom extraction.

However, Governor Samuel Ortom has said that the law should be allowed to take its course on Tershaku. He reaffirmed his leadership style of not shielding anyone suspected to have committed a crime.

The governor, who spoke to newsmen on Monday, explained that it was the constitutional mandate of security agencies to arrest anyone suspected to have violated the law.

The questions remain: Who is this man? Is he Tiv, Hausa/Fulani or what?

Culled from Nigerian Tribune

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