Oct. 26, 2013
The Governor of Nasarawa State, Tanko Al-Makura, has said that he gave Ombatse youth N1 million for refreshments, not N2 million as alleged by the legal adviser of Ombatse, Zamani Allumaga.
Testifying in Lafia before the Fola Gbadeyan-led commission of inquiry into the Alakyo killings, Mr. Al-Makura said he invited the youth to hear their grievances after they blocked the Akwanga-Lafia highway at Nasarawa-Eggon in November 2012.
“There was a protest in November 2012 at Nasarawa-Eggon by some youth who obstructed traffic and held commuters for almost six hours, alleging that the Military obstructed their prayer session at Alogani Village.
“After admonishing the youth leaders, about 15 of them, on the need for peace amongst all citizens, irrespective of religious inclination, and they listened, I felt it was only proper to give them some money for transportation and refreshment since I did not give them lunch,” Mr. Al-Makura stated.
He explained that it was after the encounter that the name Ombatse was first mentioned to him. He claimed he had no knowledge of the existence of the group prior to the November 2012 incident.
Mr. Allumaga had earlier told the commission that the governor gave leaders of Ombatse and Eggon Community Development Association, ECDA, N1 million each when they visited him in November, 2012.
Mr. Al-Makura also dismissed as untrue, the allegation that government failed to heed the warning of Eggon elders, through Ahmed Ubangeri, a former Chief Justice of the state, to postpone the ill-fated operation.
The elders had allegedly asked the state government to allow them meet with the Ombatse priest, Baba Alakyo, on May 9 over the activities of Ombatse. Read full on PremiumTimes