By Amos Aar
BENUE State governor, Samuel Ortom, has summoned an emergency meeting of the state’s Security Council (SSC) following Tuesday’s murder of Chief (Dr) Terkula Suswam and his aide, Mr Solomon Utanor, by unknown gunmen in his Anyiin residence in Logo local government area of the state. The meeting is ongoing at Government House, Makurdi as at the time of filing this report.
The late Chief Suswam was elder brother to the former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, who is now serving as Senator representing Benue Zone A.
Shortly after the news of Chief Suswam’s murder was made public, Governor Ortom had expressed shock and displeasure when he paid a sympathy visit to the family residence of the deceased, who was until his death on Tuesday a titled chief in Tiv land.
The governor had hinted at the sympathy visit that the State Security Council (SSC) would sit to ensure that the murderers were arrested and brought to book. He said the criminals have declared war on the people of Sankera and his government will not fold its hands to watch them destroy the area.
Our correspondent reports that since the murder of Chief Suswan and his aide, residents of Anyiin Community are still in shock and visibility living in fear as it is believed that the killers dropped a letter in which they threatened to also go after former Governor Suswam and another of his brothers, Cephas.
A source in the community confided in National Record that the gunmen were heard proclaiming that Senator Suswam lured Terwase Akwaza, popularly known as Gana, to come out of hiding before being killed by the Nigerian Army, and as a result, they will take vengeance on Suswam’s family.
The murder of Chief Suswam is believed to have hit hard on not only the people of Sankera zone, but also on Benue State at large.
Apart from his role as a prominent traditional ruler, he was also a businessman, owning big companies such as shitek Conglomerate, Makurdi, Ashi Rice Company, Makurdi, Ashi Polytechnic, Anyiin and many other ventures.
A former lecturer with the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi; the late Chief Suswam was also a former Chairman, Board of Directors of Radio Benue, Makurdi. He had contested for, and almost won, the Tor Sankera I stool in 2016, but lost to Chief Abu King Shuluwa, allegedly on grounds of zoning arrangement.
To compensate him for the loss, he was conferred with the Chieftaincy title of the Zege I Wanger I Tiv, which means “the Big Light of the Tiv Nation.”